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KENYAN MEDIA’S INSENSITIVE REPORTING OVER DEATH OF ESTHER ARUNGA’S SON

Former TV anchor Esther Arunga

Former TV anchor Esther Arunga

When Australia’s Channel 7 News broke the news on Thursday that a Kenyan couple had been taken by the police for questioning after their baby died under mysterious circumstances, the news spread like bush fire in Kenya, not because the victims were just Kenyans but because the couple has been controversial public figures in the local media.

As reported by Channel 7, the three year old boy was allegedly playing with his siblings when he fell down the staircase. The parents gave their son a painkiller (Panadol) and when his condition deteriorated they called an ambulance but sadly the little boy passed on while being attended by the medics.

MEDIA QUICK TO JUDGE

The majority of Kenyan women on social media sympathized with the child’s mother, Esther Arunga, a former news anchor, but a section of other Kenyans were too quick to judge Esther for allegedly killing her baby.

The local media did not help much as decent standards of objectivity and sensitivity were not observed at all as far as reporting the story went and it was evident that some had accused, judged, and sentenced Esther.

KENYA FORUM READERS RESPOND

As one Kenya Forum reader noted;

“Am saddened by how the media has handled the news surrounding Esther Arunga’s son, and especially NTV, so unsympathetic!” she posted on Facebook.

“For them it is just another juicy story, but only a mother can understand the pain of losing a child”, Jane responded to the first comment.

“I’m heartbroken for Esther. I’m a mom and I cannot imagine this. No parent should have to bury their child. Prayers galore, people”, said Betty

“People should stop bashing her because Esther had no intention of killing her son. She did what all mothers including me do when a child falls; take the child, soothe and administer first aid. If there was any internal bleeding, how could she have known?

BITTER FALL OUT WITH PARENTS

Esther Arunga had a fall out with her parents two years ago and she had even threatened to sue them for allegedly subjecting her to illegal detention and forcing her to undergo psychiatric therapy against her will.

According to the Daily Nation, Esther’s mother, Petroline Arunga, has heard about the death of her grandson but she could not confirm it, as she had not been in contact with her daughter.

President Kenyatta declared winner.

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