In the days leading to the announcements of the results which was barely made few hours ago, there were permutations suggesting very strongly that Raila Amollo Odinga will be the next President of Kenya. In fact, Odinga was trending on Twitter today at some point in the morning.
However, William Ruto has been declared the winner of Kenya’s presidential election, defeating his rival Raila Odinga.
I am reading and watching reports already and it is time for journalists to do a diligent work of reporting accurately without exaggeration and use of triggering words. While of course our duty is to report what we see and as it unfolds, it is equally crucial to set the tone right.
Indigenous journalists have a great role to play in sending across the right narrative. Without offence to international media (I work for one as you may know) and some local media, this is the time to make the right editorial judgment.
Make no mistake, bad news sells faster, anything that looks like “violence” will make the headlines (hopefully, it won’t get to that)so most media outfits will as it may seem, unintentionally be on standby for the slightest of it.
Journalists must tell it right. Old narratives must not be peddled where it always seems elections in Africa is synonymous to clashes and fracas unless it is the case. Sometimes it is blown out of proportion. Images are misrepresented, triggering words and terms may fly around, but the media must get it right and report accordingly as a duty of care if you like.
Dear native journalists in particular, here is your chance to tell one of Africa‘s stories RIGHT.
Congratulations to Kenya, quite unprecedented. In the coming days things will unfold more. More work to do.
Countries in Africa can hold peaceful elections as well.
Image credit: Reuters, August 15, 2022