Last weekend in a three-page article in The Star, Sarah Elderkin thrust her lance at K24’s inquisitor-in-chief, Jeff Koinange, over an interview with Miguna Miguna, Raila Odinga’s erstwhile ‘advisor’, and specifically for ‘openly using his programme to engage in ‘blatant propaganda’ and ‘insinuated falsehoods’ against the Prime Minister’. Ms Elderkin is a ‘freelance journalist’. We’ve seen her lance, it’s the ‘free’ tag that the Kenya Forum questions.
Sarah Elderkin really set into poor old Jeff Koinange.
She doesn’t like Koinange’s style: he is ‘almost a parody of himself’, she wrote, ‘a parody characterised by strange body jerks, weird facial grimaces and painfully tortured pronouncements’. Perhaps so Ms Elderkin, says the Forum, but Jeff has the ratings, his viewers like his style.
She doesn’t like Koinange’s interview technique: he pushed Miguna Miguna ‘to say things that go beyond, and are not supported by, Miguna’s statements on the programme’, she wailed. But isn’t that what an interviewer should do Ms Elderkin?
Koinange was trying to suggest that when Miguna Miguna talked to ICC officials in The Hague he was expressing Prime Minister Odinga’s views, lobbying as it were, she complained. Heaven forefend.
Sarah Elderkin charged at another windmill. ‘K24 is owned by Mediamax, which is in turn is majority… owned by the Kenyatta family’, she stated. ‘Presumably with his employers blessing’, she suggested, Koinange had used his programme to engage in, ‘blatant propaganda and insinuated falsehoods against the Prime Minister’.
Her fury was raised by this. ‘Does this constitute hate speech?’ she demanded to know. ‘I don’t know…’ she answered herself. Yes you do, Ms Elderkin, and it doesn’t. It does constitute underhand and weak journalism.
WILL THE REAL SARAH ELDERKIN PLEASE STAND UP?
Ms Elderkin quoted the code of conduct in the ‘Second Schedule to the Media Act 2007’, which, she wrote, ‘exhorts journalists to distinguish clearly “between comment, conjecture and fact” and to “vigorously resist undue influence from… powerful individuals and special interest groups”.
Quite so, Ms Elderkin, says the Forum, but that wouldn’t be the same Sarah Elderkin who was a speech writer for Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, would it? Or the same Sarah Elderkin who has been described as an ‘advisor’ to Raila Odinga? Or indeed the same Sarah Elderkin who was described as being ‘close’ to the Prime Minister, by none other than Miguna Miguna?
‘The lady doth protest too much, methinks’ and the Forum asks: did Sarah Elderkin write this article with her employers blessing?
Read Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act III, scene II, Ms Elderkin, look up the word ‘hypocrisy’ in the dictionary, look in the mirror once every day for a week and recite the Media Act’s code of conduct, and please remove the tag ‘freelance journalist’ from your articles in future.