[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he National Super Alliance (NASA) has complained to Nation Media Group (NMG) print media over what it termed as skewed misinforming reporting by its newspapers. In a letter addressed to acting CEO Stephen Gitagama, dated January 23, 2018, the opposition formation has listed headline stories in the newspaper it claims are influenced by its opponents.
“For some time now, the Newspaper Division of the Nation Media Group has engaged in what is clearly a mission of misinformation about the activities and intentions of the National Super Alliance. The aim appears to be to divide the coalition and demoralize supporters,” reads part of the letter, sent by Raila’s communications secretary, Dennis Onyango.
The coalition picked; NASA in Crisis Talks Over Raila Oath Plan, the Daily Nation headline for January, 15 2018 as lacking evidence of the coalition having held a crisis meeting, saying the media house appeared to be against the coalition’s normal meetings.
On the following day, the daily published another story headlined Puzzle of Raila Role Derails Unity Talks. NASA accuses the paper of having indicated in the story that there exists an intention of forming a unity government but this faced the challenge of agreeing on the roles he and Kalonzo would be assigned.
On a separate occasion, January 19, the headline read; NASA Scrambles to end Split over Raila’s Oath Bid had termed the recent NASA People’s Assembly meeting in Machakos as a ‘make-or-break’ for Raila’s future in politics.
The coalition finds foul in this, saying such meetings were not in any way unique by their nature as similar ones had been held previously in the country.
On Saturday, the day’s edition led with Tough Questions Over NASA plan to Swear in Raila as the headline story. This, NASA says had been published to create rifts in the coalition’s technical team when no such formations exists. It talked of ODM technocrats verses those of other parties. “NASA strategies are often open and flexible.We encourages free exchange views and no fixed documents to being presented to be discussed,” reads the letter.
It terms documents mentioned by the paper as fictitious.
On Monday, the Daily Nation ran a story under the headline, Venue Hitch Hits Raila Oath Plans, a story the coalition’s team says sustains the earlier trend.
The coalition says their side of the story was not told for fair comment.
Tuesday, the letter points to part of a story where it claims the paper had described their activities as “theatrics that will have no effect on the country’s politics”, under the headline, What Happens Next?, and holds that it had been an opinion piece disguised as objective reporting.
The seventh story of concern to the coalition is one under the headline “NASA Changes venue of Raila ‘Oath’ Ceremony, also on Tuesday. The letter states that no one from the coalition had been quoted as the source of the information and that no new venue had been named by the publication.
“These reports all in January alone, clearly point to a pattern, and a deliberate one at that, by the Nation Media Group against NASA. Nation Newspaper is either being used to do the work of NASA’s opponents or has deliberately assigned itself the task of fighting the opposition. Either way, NASA reserves the right to fight back.” the coalition stated in the letter.
The coalition has threatened to urge its supporters to take undefined action against the paper should the said trend persist.
It is not the first time NASA is taking issue with the media house. During last year’s electioneering period, its leaders on some occasions urged their supporters to shun its products, including Daily Nation and NTV, but a truce later appeared to have been struck.