Journalism In Africa with Jeff Koinange
Midnight, 1st August, 1982, Kenyans woke up to a frightful coup attempt by junior rebel officers of the Kenya Air Force against the government of the then president Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi. The mastermind, Senior Private Hezekiah Ochuka Rabala, was Kenya’s ‘president’ for less than six hours.
In the thick of this bedlam was one veteran newsman, Leonard Mambo Mbotela. He was then Head of Kiswahili and Vernacular Services at national broadcaster, The Voice Of Kenya (VOK), dragooned into announcing the coup that early morning. Raphael Tuju, Pamela Mburea and the late Swaleh Mumina were the other three journalists sucking tension in the recording studio, evincing how chancy working as a journalist can get.
Post-independence Africa reeled with economic advancement pegged with a tumultuous political renaissance. The continent’s media contingent struggled to realize its voice as many outlets were state owned; often superintended to protect the powers that be. As African populations grew more elaborate, there was increasing demand for independent news sources more impartial and somewhat critical of their governments.
The umpteen loopholes and setbacks in African journalism catapulted the west’s continuing distorted broadcast of Africa’s true stories. The agenda for African news for the longest time got decided in far-off western capitals and written by dashing foreign correspondents who do not understand the local complexities, basing their narrative on sweeping, misleading generalisations.
Jeff Koinange is currently host of the popular and controversial Talk Show, Jeff Koinange LIVE #JKL broadcast on Kenya’s Television Network, KTN. He is the first African journalist to be prominently featured on an international network television. At CNN, Jeff Koinange cemented his reputation as one of the most accomplished journalists of our time.
Jeff Koinange has been on the forefront of telling African stories the African way. He previously served as the Africa correspondent for CNN and CNN International from 2001 to 2007, and later as chief reporter at K24 from 2007 to December 2012. Before joining KTN, he served as the Chief Anchor, Africa for Arise Television Ltd, based in Johannesburg. Among the more significant stories Koinange has covered for CNN in Africa were the crisis in Darfur, the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone and the famine in Niger, for which he won an Emmy award.
Fatuma’s Voice will host Jeff Koinange on 25th June 2016 to tell us more about his journey as a journalist; what his experience has taught him, his thoughts and feelings on the current state of Kenyan journalism as well as the future of African journalism.
— Fatuma’s Voice (@FatumasVoice) June 17, 2016
What is your say on how our media carries itself out? Do you get a sense that our stories are being poorly told and that media outlets are watering down the value of how to report about Africa? Is our journalism skilled or does it thrive on empty rhetoric? Is it about selling an African image or disseminating the real issues as they are so Africa can have true reflections on itself? Do we have more opportunities to diversify and increase the quality of our storytelling in the wake of digital migration or does it come as a hindrance to the largely internet starved spaces across the continent in talking about our home? Share with us today via: talk(at)fatumasvoice(dot)org
Less known is that Jeff Koinange is the first African in history to win an Emmy/ and notably the first African to win a Peabody, and finally the first African National to be awarded a Vernon Jarrett, and the Prix Bayeux. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism from New York University.
An interesting evening to look forward to. We anticipate hosting you and your friends on this day. Invite everyone you can. Poetry and music are part of the day’s soul food.
Jeff Koinange is also a keen and energetic Master of Ceremonies and has hosted numerous Bilateral and Multilateral events for the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Health Organization (WHO), The Economic Commission of Africa (ECA), the East African Community (EAC), the African Union (AU) and various United Nations (UN) Organization agencies.
On the Friday of 20th June 2014 , #FatumasVoice brought together youth, media and students to deliberate on a different form of journalism called Gutter Press and possibly come up with measures that would improve what we are experiencing today.
In recent times, the media has been accused of watering down the heaviness of the content it delivers and has been referred to as Gutter Press. Our news presenters are allegedly turning out to be agents of fashion than they are casters.
Here are some of the questions that were tackled:
Do you think that the Kenyan media has become an emblem of mediocrity than of the seriousness that it ought to be? Is press freedom a reality or does the government still control what is to be aired to the masses?
Read more about it here: