Monday, June 11, 2007

No News is Good News?

I think Not.
After todays morning explosion is took it think like an hour before scattered rumours started filtering into the office about a blast in Nairobi. Of course with the typical Kenyan rumour mill there were already around 101 different theories floating around and that was even before morning tea was served.
Being away from news sources in the office apart from the internet I wasn't able to get any verifiable facts until around lunch time when I checked the newsfeeds on my newsreader from CNN, BBC and Reuters they were still bila story from Nairobi. Of course Google news searches for Nairobi picked up the news feeds from around 10.00 am. I was late for lunch time news at 1.00PM and when I got to the house all the channels had live coverage of KANU's Special Delegates meeting so again no news updates for me. Speculation was rife as people rushed into all sorts of conclusions blaming this and that group or persons, blaming the government, blaming the opposition, blaming foreigners, looking for religious, political, social and economic angles.
As a typical news junkie you can imagine my frustration as I searched for information about the blast since all my folks and and alot of my friends are in Nairobi but from all those I have heard from I guess they should be all OK.
Perhaps the blast was too minimal or inconsequential to the world media to attract widespread and quick coverage but I still wonder how it would have been if it featured one American or if the hotel in question was the one associated with a certain pseudocelebrity who is currently languisihing in an American Jail the coverage would have been any different. As the country grapples with addressing the role of the media, the media bill and the information superhighway I hope we shall be able to find a solution to this information gap when it comes to breaking news.
As I struggle along trying to get more news I pray for anyone who might have been affected or hurt in todays events. Since I don't want to miss the 7.00PM news let me sign off now.

18 comments:

3N said...

Kirima, I first read on BBC Africa and even they were misleading as they prematurely imitated that the blast was the work of a terrorist. Apparently Al Queda had already claimed responsibility.

anyway while you watch the 7pm news also read M's post on this explosion.

http://www.thinkersroom.com/blog/2007/06/explosion-in-nairobi-follow-up/

Betty said...

i knoooow, the media couverage was pretty lousy, the stress of not knowing wat really happened and listening to a thaousand versions of lame rumours is frustrating!!

mwangi said...

Hopefully guyz are ok!! Am pretty much blacked out news-wise regarding the issue!!

egm said...

The first I heard of this was as an sms from someone back home that got to me while on the bus on my way to work this morning. The rest of my ride in was one of anxiety as I waited to get to the office and get on the net to see what the news sources had on this. As M puts it, personal communication media is indeed a double edged sword that should be carefully brandished.

irena said...

In defence of International Media, I usually get a BBC alert on breaking news and that I did get though not in details until much later.Obviously, then I jumped to Nation, Standard , KBC and KTN website and at that time they had nothing on it. I would not be too particular on personal communication because the initial reaction among bloggers etc was to write not report whatever information they had at that moment and that happens in all over the blog world even in london bombings, the initial writings from different forums was erroneous and thus as much as I agree that we should be careful, in what we write in awake of such crisis at the same time the need to say something/react immediately is imperative

Majonzi said...

I got an sms from home, and then a phone call. And like y'all, I have heard several versions of who the guy was. Even with the international websites, there has been irresponsible reporting on the issue. It can hardly be termed "suicidal" bomb if the the petrol bomb went off accidentally-- in a scuffle as has been reported.

Archer said...

I laughed as I watched a very annoyed Brigadier Ali blasting guys of the media for their inaccurate reporting of the blast and the casualties. Karibu he slaps some other jungu reporter who kept asking stupid questions!

Unyc said...

It was sad. KTN, Nation and the rest of the local channels were also givin different reports of casualties etc.
Like Archer i cld not help but laugh as Commissioner Ali told the Press they should not go on n speculate anything. The look he had on his face.....dont mess!

Klara said...

That was so sad n the media just made it worse aki...........

aegeus said...

That was one angry Commish! It looked to me like the Police and related sectors have their disaster act together. They acted swiftly and commendably!

kenyaonly said...

...next time try capital fm..... they are quite reliable i can say....

Jamvi said...

The bombing is an unfortunate event. Sad as it is the info-superhighway hasnt been embraced as much as we'd hope especially in issues affecting Africa.

Archer said...

Kirima, am I the only one who's noticed that you've got a new avatar? Yes I am! Now where's my prize? (ahem...I drink White Cap these days!)

Komi said...

Pole, I can imagine the frustration. I heard it on classic before the calls started coming in...luckily I was still in the house so I watched the scene on Nation before going to work.

betty said...

lool Archa aki ure slow..hehe he put the avatar like weeks ago when he posted on Lord of the Rings.. jeeeez "rolling eyes"

Kirima said...

@All, I see I was not alone in my frustration at getting quick and reliable news it is obvious we cannot rely on international media unless their interests are involved and yet out local information network is either too slow or just full of rumour and inuendo. I hope soon we shall have a quick, reliable and honest news source which we can quote without fear of contradiction.

modo without the news said...

local media is full of melodrama...not enough concrete info. don't even talk about international media...

i feel for you guys abroad. izzza!

boyflani said...

sob.

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