Nation newspaper grammar connoisseur Philip Ochieng has released a new book into the market, which reveals some quirky traits about the legendary journalist. The 5TH COLUMNIST, which was launched on Friday, has been described as a ‘must-read for journalists’. This is his second book after ‘I Accuse the press’ published by ACTS Press in 1992.

The book, published by Longhorn Publishers Ltd, gives an overview and insightful breakdown of Ochieng’s rise from a humble beginning in Awendo, Migori County to a celebrated journalist having served in various capacities at Nation Media Group and in East Africa as well.“It is a book that generally gives a history about Philip Ochieng and his insights in the media industry,” says the book’s author Liz Gitonga, who is also an Editor at Sunday Nation.

Mr Ochieng, whose column runs on Sunday Nation, is also a self-confessed atheist, according to his close allies. “Ochieng does not believe in the existence of a supreme being, he believes in science,” Ms Gitonga writes. She also cites some of the difficulties journalist have gone through while working alongside Philip mostly ‘grammatical mistakes’ and ‘incoherent headlines.’

Philip Ochieng challenged the media and journalists to up their game in telling stories. Owing to his vast experience in the industry – serving at some point as the Editorial Director of Nation Media Group – he told journalists to follow stories from the beginning to the end.

There are many stories that go untold. It is your responsibility to follow these stories from A to Z. Take your subjects with seriousness and follow them,” Mr Ochieng said.

He also praised Liz Gitonga for showing the right direction that journalism should take. “As the author of this book, Liz Gitonga has showed the right way that journalism should take, follow it,” said the Alliance High School alumni, addressing a battery of journalists who attended the launch.

“Journalists should develop thoughts that form the secrets of development and turn them into reality. Our nation is full of heroes and heroines whose stories may not be told. I challenge you to take that course,” he added.

The 5TH COLUMNIST illuminates a more colourful side of Philip Ochieng and his journalism career since 1966. It gives an account of his service including working as a Standard columnist based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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