Kass FM, the Kalenjin radio station, has shuffled its reporters and correspondents in Rift Valley to break comprising relationships with news sources.
The editorial managers effected the changes after investigations revealed that most of its reporters in this region had turned into mouth pieces for county governments and their governors. They are accused of doing PR for counties,” said a senior editor at Kass FM, which is based in Nairobi.
In the changes, Gladys Yator moves from Eldoret (Uasin Gishu) to Kapsabet (Nandi County), while Antony Kimeto who has been reporting from Iten County has been transferred to Eldoret. The Kericho county reporter has moved to Iten.
The radio station, owned by businessman Joshua Chepkwony's Kass Media Group, has its biggest audience in Rift Valley region, the home of the Kalenjin sub-tribes. It also broadcasts in Nairobi, the country’s capital, which has substantial population of the Kalenjin people as well the Coast Region and parts of Western and Nyanza. Its programming focuses on information, news and talk shows.
Most media houses are grappling with the same problem, where journalists based in the counties turn into stooges for governors and other county officials, churning out only positive reports and ‘k*****g’ the negative and critical ones. Some reporters are even paid monthly retainers to ensure positive coverage for county governments and act as feelers for any negative publicity.
Standard Group and Nation Media Group recently reshuffled their bureau chiefs to cut such links and strengthen reporting. In the lead up to the general elections next year, media houses will be in the spotlight on how the report critical issues in the counties.
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