For the longest time, platforms that engage in online publishing and discussion, media sharing, blogging, social networking, document and data sharing repositories, social media applications among others have enjoyed so much freedom devoid of any form of regulation or government intervention, until recently when the Communications Authority threatened to prick the bubble.
Among the propositions of the Bill was that all bloggers and group admins should have a license to authorize their existence and they shall be held accountable for all the content that they put out to the public, failure to which the long arm of the law will swoop in.
Too much freedom is poisonous they say, but in a world where content thrives on fabricated stories, unfounded opinions and rumors one would be tempted to ask for more freedom. There is nothing wrong with media establishing a niche that suits their audience, but some extremes which are totally uncalled for have birthed Githeri Media, which have compromised the authenticity and the authority of legit of the media industry at large.
Speaking to Noah Kipkemboi, A Business reporter and anchor at KTN News, on Githeri Media and the need for regulation of such platforms, he says that its about perception and one’s understanding of how the media operates. In a space where the quality of a product is measured by the quantity of consumption, whether substandard or factual numbers are the end game, a price he says we have to pay the freedom in media.
“Freedom has its pros and cons. We can ask for the regulation to do away with Githeri Media, but it’s not that easy. While I agree it is uncouth to cook up content just for the clicks and views, ethical journalism should be built on character, something that is very lacking in the blogosphere. If we are people of character we will not abuse the freedoms that we have.
“Traditionally gossip sells and historically it has featured on matters entertainment accommodating fiction and facts. To some people, gossip is a form of entertainment and they have their space and target audience, there is nothing wrong with that. Regulating the blogosphere could establish particular standards and limits that people can write, which borders speech control. But sincerely speaking, it is a dicey situation,” he notes.
While Githeri Media has been putting food on the table for some folks, there is the need to sanitize the space, so that some keyboard Ninjas do not take shortcuts to fame, while others are working hard to put legit content out there for their audience. Honest and truthful journalism will restore sense and dignity into the industry paving way for growth and fair competition.