Friday, January 27, 2023

Kenya: Local media oppose exclusion from Ruto’s inauguration coverage

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

The local media in Kenya are up in arms against organizers of Tuesday’s presidential inauguration ceremony over arrangements for coverage.

The communications team of Kenya’s President-elect William Ruto has barred local media from covering the presidential inauguration, offering exclusive broadcast rights to Multichoice Kenya Ltd, an affiliate of a South African pay-TV group.

Local broadcasters have been asked to access the live feed of Multichoice which has the national broadcaster KBC as the minority shareholder.

Details of the contract haven’t been made public, but previous presidential inaugurations have been covered jointly by local media at no cost to the government.

The announcement has been met by protests from local journalists and media organisations, with the leading Daily Nation newspaper accusing the president-elect of wasting “opportunities to rise to statesmanship”.

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“The optics of giving a foreign broadcaster the sole responsibility to cover a state function are cringeworthy,” it wrote in Monday’s editorial.

Mr Ruto’s communications team has defended the decision, saying the contractor will “provide a channel for the rest of Africa”.

They have also accused local media of bias against Mr Ruto, pointing out to critical coverage of his campaigns and his Kenya Kwanza (Kenya First) coalition.

At least 20 Heads of State are expected in Kenya for Tuesday’s inauguration of president-elect William Ruto.


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