The People Daily newspaper has become the latest victim of staff exits, with four journalists leaving in the recent past.
Sources at the newspaper, which is run by Mediamax Ltd, said the newsdesk has been depleted even as the 8th August general election draws closer.
The reporters who have left in the past few weeks include Luke Awich, Joseph Murimi and Murimi Mutiga, who have joined The Star and Daily Nation. The latest to tender his resignation was Victor Raballa, who quit this week.
With Irene Githinji, a key reporter of the desk, on maternity leave, News Editor Chris Oyuga is heavily relying on interns and new inexperienced journalists, a situation that may water down PD’s election coverage. Another key reporter, Mercy Mwai is also scheduled to proceed on maternity leave.
“The news desk has only Antony Mwangi and another parliamentary reporter in charge,” said a senior reporter at DMS, the PD head offices.
The exit is a major blow to PD, especially coming just a few weeks to elections, when media houses are bringing in extra hands to boost their election coverage.
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It is not clear whether the reporters who have left were disgruntled, but they are said to have been given better offers by their new employers.
PD, which is marking three years since becoming a free newspaper, appears to be gaining a foothold on advertising, with its CEO Ian Fernandes saying yesterday during the third anniversary party that revenues are growing.
Like most media houses, Mediamax has to content with talent movement in a restless industry where journalists are hunting for better pay.
K24, the broadcast wing of Mediamax, which is owned by the Kenyatta family, has also lost a number of news anchors in the past few months.