Friday, July 5, 2013

Kenyan journalists have sold their souls to the devil

Word on the street is that some computer geek has hacked into the mobile phone money transfer account of a certain sports administrator and is about to unleash the names of sports journalists on the big shot’s payroll.
As you would expect, this rumour has thrown our news rooms into panic, for many are they whose palms have repeatedly been greased by, ahem, Mr. Sports Administrator.
And therein lays the basis of my gripe with my comrades-in-arms in the sporting arena. Following the happenings of the last few days, I have every reason to believe that professional ethics have been thrown out of the window by a vast majority of my colleagues in this trade of reporting news stories.
Granted, receipt of the (in)famous ‘brown envelopes’ is a standard practice by journalists in this part of the world, but Kenyan sports journalists have succeeded in taking their vile practices to a whole new level.
It is no secret, for example, that a number of sports journalists threw their lot with one or the other top aspirants who were vying for administrative positions during last weekend’s AFC Leopards elections.

‘Secret night meetings’
I have it on authority that, in the run up to the polls, many are the ‘secret night meetings’ that my fellow scribes attended across the breadth and length of the city to assuage and lick the boots of their newfound benefactors.
It gets worse. I am told some journalists turned themselves into human resource mobilisers-cum-chief campaigners for ‘their’ candidates of choice.
I don’t get it, but in such a scenario, how does one report objectively, while – to put it in a layman’s language – he or she has already been ‘pocketed’ by the candidate?
Little wonder then that on Saturday afternoon, Tusker and Sofapaka played to not only a yawning Nyayo National Stadium, but the reporters were also nowhere in sight.
From my vantage position in the VIP stand, I found myself in the good company of only two reporters. The photographers, too, were conspicuously missing. It wasn’t hard to guess their whereabouts.
I thought long and hard before writing this article and I am fully aware of the fact that I risk winning more enemies than friends on the account of this treatise. Yet, I have chosen to bite the bullet for I find it extremely hard to stomach the spiteful ways of the Kenyan media. I rest my case.

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