Journalists at Standard Media Group have been hit below the gut in an internal memo by the group’s Editor In Chief Ochieng Rapuro regarding their ethical standards. In what he terms as a thorough house cleansing, Mr. Ochieng is determined to restore journalism back to sanity and fitness.
“The Standard Group has embarked on a transformative journey, whose ultimate goal is to transform our journalism and reclaim our position in the market as an independent and bold media house. It has, therefore, become necessary that our journalism shapes up and aligns with the quality and relevance standards that our consumers have set for us,” he said.
“Well, that journey is starting now with a thorough housecleaning to deal with the hygiene issues that are currently affecting the independence and rigor of our journalism. In that regard, it has become necessary that we reboot the system to deal with issues that affect our fitness – to begin with, travels out of office,” he added
In particular, the memo condemns the act of journalists traveling out of the office often to invitations by news offices which has had adverse effects. He observed that unethical engagement with news sources has had the effect of setting apart a segment of our journalists as employees of the group with very low newsroom output but whose lives are pampered and punctuated with frequent travels in and out of the country while others toil to deliver the newsroom obligations. That although it is part of their operations, a structure to manage the system must be put in place for the valuable outcome.
Henceforth, any company, agency, organization or individual inviting a journalist from Standard must send the invitation to the news editor, section editor or managing editor before they can attend their function or event. Any invitation coming with the name of a reporter or editor will be rejected unless the sender allows the editor to nominate an alternative person. Editors must forward all requests for foreign travel to the Editor in Chief for approval, stating the expected journalistic value and deliverables from the journalist thus nominated for travel.
While at it journalist have been reminded to keep an arm’s length distance with the news sources. That they shall not undertake any non-journalistic duties from news sources for monetary gains and no Standard Grop journalist should accept any personal gift from these sources in cash or other forms and any such gifts brought to newsroom will be collected in a pool that will be administered by administration assistants for ultimate contribution to needy persons or children’s homes.