Just weeks after Nation Media Group’s Churchill Otieno was elected president of the Kenya Editors’ Guild, there seems to be a major change in the company’s editorial policy, if the publication’s Saturday front-page is anything to go by.
In Journalism, there has always been a fine line between candid reporting and defamation, and The Nation appears to have breached it.
In dissecting the hurdles that each of the big three (Uhuru, Raila and Ruto) face months prior to the referendum, the newspaper began by outlining that although Uhuru may have weathered an impending anti-BBI storm and managed to push the document through parliament, he did so at a costly price. He ceded too much ground, and this might finally leave him either vulnerable or in a weaker position. As for Ruto, the newspaper noted that he was in the process of finding out, rather too harshly, that there’s a clear difference between perception of having a following, and the actual reality on the ground.
However, when it came to Raila, while trying to state the precarious balance that he is currently trying to maintain at his ODM party, the newspaper used rather unsavory and crude language, basically accusing the former Prime Minister of running the party like a personal kiosk!
In light of the recent push and pull that has been witnessed in the Orange Democratic Movement party, and the consequent removal of Otiende Amollo as JLAC vice-chair, the paper stated that Raila found himself in a difficult position of deciding on whether to run his party as a personal kiosk, or allow dissent.
It is worth noting that in the past, ODM has had a rocky relationship with NMG, especially during the Kibaki era when the feeling within the party was that the publication favoured the regime over him.
Things got to boiling point when, in the aftermath of the acrimonious 2013 election, Raila accused a section of the media of being complicit in the alleged electoral fraud that had just taken place.