Why on earth doesn’t Raila own a media house? Something like NASA TV?

Why NASA should move with speed and acquire a National TV Station – NASA TV.

One reason the 2017 General Elections in Kenya was a fraud is because the media houses slept with the executive, or rather, bought every lie (statistic) sold to them by the IEBC. The media did not dare ask tough questions when figures as streamed to the IEBC portal started not to add up, neither did they bother collect and announce results as were being declared at the Constituency Tallying Centres even though the Court of Appeal and High Court had ruled that polling station results as collated and declared at Constituency Tallying Centres are final.

It is okay to blame the media for lack of transparency in the 2017 elections, but this is because the mainstream media in Kenya is aligned with the powers that be. The media has been blamed for their political leaning, but there is no reason to expect a media house owned by people supporting the government to tailor their coverage against the government. What ought to happen is every political faction should have its own mainstream media so as to balance the equation.

In democracies such as the US, there are mainstream media houses like Fox Entertainment Group that is leaning towards the Republican Party and Times Warner Cable (owners of CNN) that is leaning towards the Democratic Party. In Kenya we have Nation Media Group and The Standard Group that lean towards Republican types of Government’s (Jomo Kenyatta’s, Moi’s, Kibaki’s and Uhuru’s) on one hand and Royal Media Services that somehow lean towards Democratic types of politics lead by Raila Odinga. However, after Royal Media Services was threatened with license disputes involving a number of its Radio Stations across the country, it was forced to toe the line and start supporting the government.

See also  How to guard yourself against stupidly succumbing to FAKE NEWS

Also, Royal Media Services is not owned by any key opposition politician, but by a businessman who supports Raila Odinga. As a businessman, Samuel Kamau Macharia’s foremost concern is profits, not championing political ideologies. If his political leanings compromises his business interests, then he for sure will give priority to the course that benefits his business interests.

Uhuru Kenyatta, knowing how important the media is to politics, moved swiftly to establish Mediamax Ltd, a media house that has grown slowly but steadily to become the fifth most important media house in Kenya. If today Uhuru Kenyatta was to fall out with Nation Media Group, The Standard Group and Capital Group Limited, he wouldn’t be left without the means to propagate his political agenda.

That is why I have never understood why a prominent politician like Raila Odinga has not dared buy or establish his own media house – create something akin to NASA TV. As much as the media houses have loved covering him given the thousands and millions of views and readership he generates, the existing media houses haven’t gone the extra mile to expose the government whenever the government colludes with other institutions like the IEBC and the police to cause injustice. In the recent general elections for instance, the media kept quiet when the ICT was being tampered with at IEBC, and did not dare properly cover the killings at Mathare, Kibera and Kisumu after the elections were called.

The ramifications of Raila Odinga not owning a media house was apparent during the launch of NASA manifesto. All the mainstream media houses other than Citizen TV of Royal Media Services snubbed the launch. The State owned Kenya Broadcasting Corporation started airing the event, but a few minutes into the event the national broadcaster had to pull their plugs, with rumours going round that they had received instructions from State House to stop airing the NASA event. The public was therefore left to the mercies of Citizen TV and NASA TV (NASA Coalition’s Facebook Live broadcasts) to follow the event.

See also  Safaricom Platinum and Safaricom Platinum Plus - Wrong products for the right market segment

At the conclusion of the August 8th 2017 elections, Raila Odinga would hold a rally at Kibera to tell supporters that he would announce his next move after the sham election. During the rally, Raila would also ask NASA supporters to boycott Nation Media Group’s Daily Nation, Saturday Nation, Sunday Nation and NTV, as the group wasn’t inclined to favorably cover  the coalition’s events. But judging from what all other media houses had done, there wasn’t really any much different from the coverage by the other media houses.

The above ramifications clearly demonstrate the need for Raila Odinga to command his own media house, something he can do so easily especially after the 2015 Digital Migration. Initially for someone to set up a giant media house, he/she would need to access billions of shillings not only for the licenses but also to erect transmission masts across the country. However, after the digital migration came into effect, the only things needed are studios, money to pay signal distributor like Signet, and the broadcast license from Communications Authority. Digital Migration thus reduced the cost of setting up a media house from billions of shillings to some few millions, even as little as Kshs 10 million.

It is therefore possible for Raila Odinga and NASA to set up a media house like NASA TV, even before the rerun elections are held in October 2017. Setting a studio from grounds up however may be tricky, as Jubilee government through Communications Authority and KBC may decline to distribute NASA TV’s signals and issue them with a broadcast license. But since we have tens of struggling Signet TV stations that are already broadcasting, what Raila could do is to buy one, restructure it, and use it to start broadcasting his political agenda immediately.

See also  How compromised IEBC Servers and lack of form 34As speak for stolen elections

Something like NASA TV being setup before the October 2017 rerun elections is very critical, as during the last elections the media houses failed to properly broadcast results as they were being announced at Constituency tallying centres. NASA TV would therefore take up the challenge to properly cover the tallying process as they will be happening at the 290 Constituencies.

If Raila does not set something like NASA TV, then he will have no business condemning the media houses whose owners have the democratic right to support whichever presidential candidate they want to support with their resources, including the airtime verily control.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
Odipo Riaga on FacebookOdipo Riaga on Linkedin

You may also like...