A retrospect into Blogging and Kenyan Media
In Kenya and Africa to a large extent, unlike elsewhere in the world, blogs are still regarded with ignorance and contempt in that order.This is because, when Blogs first made headlines, they(blogs) came out as forms of personal expression(diaries) and a lot of what you would call Citizen Journalism, mostly following no standards of professional journalistic writing and more often than not giving wrong facts marked with unedited writings.
Along the years however, things have changed. Bloggers have recognized the power of the tools they hold, the potential to use this medium as a way of providing information that would otherwise be censored by mainstream media houses. And boy haven’t they styled up. We are now seeing a shift in focus mainly by International Media houses who have realized that bloggers are able to give breaking news faster than mainstream media(e.g, my story on Dr. Watson, appeared a week later on a local daily)Most media houses are now partnering with bloggers and even sighting them as references in their news and information.
Recently, articles of a blog belonging to a young British lady were published into a book. This saw her become an overnight celebrity although she had fought to keep her identity anonymous.
Locally, very many blogs have come up in the last 3 years. They cover different topics ranging from Politics, Finance, business, poetry, sports, the arts, personal diaries the list is endless.
Despite all this Blogging revolution that is happening everywhere in the world, local media houses, still feel that bloggers are no threat to their dailies, TV stations, Magazines, or radio stations. The belief has been, and still is, that, all bloggers are a bunch of young wannabe writers with; too much time on their hands, free internet, no rules, no guidelines and certainly with no moral responsibility for what they post on their blogs.
It is however a sad fact for Kenyan Media, that most Blogs are becoming authoritative forces in their respective fields. This is to the point of mainstream journalists now literary lifting their stories off blogs among other websites. This is a concern that a lot of bloggers are sharing.
Amidst all these, one journalist has realized the future of media- the internet. He runs a literary blog, www.kenyanbooks.wordpress.com which focuses on Kenyan books, Kenyan writers as well as what is happening in the local literary scene. The Blog, which was not setup too long ago, has become a platform where thespians as well as readers of African literature can engage in discussion forums.
The blog allows visitors to post their comments without any admin moderation which gives a feeling of one being in room where thoughts and feedback given are in real time. The Force behind ‘KenyanBooks – Maisha Yetu’, is Joseph Ngunjiri, A literary journalist with Nation Media Group.
I hope this is a wakeup call to the Kenyan media as most do not even have a website, more so Journalists. I throw a challenge your way, why limit you skill to a medium whose reach is only regional when you can broadcast worldwide.
Question: Do you think Kenyan Media will still have a stronghold once every home is connected to the Net?(say by year 2010)?