Thursday March 10th saw a meeting between traditional media and its digital counterpart. The Bloggers Media Limited, hosted the Daily Nation for a meet the bloggers forum, where they sought to demystify the lies that exist in the society and give the Daily Nation suggestions on how to best cover some truths. Bloggers Media Limited is a digital agency that connects bloggers and influencers to brands.
The forum which was streamed live, generated a lot of conversations offline as well as online under the hashtag #BelieveTheTruth.
The MC for the day was Robert Kunga, a director at BML. The panelists were Ng’ang’a Mbugua and Benard Mwinzi from the Daily Nation’s Editorial team, and Christopher Ndungu from the Digital Daily Nation’s Marketing department.
Ng’ang’a Mbugua explained the nitty-gritties of newspaper publishing. How there are several editions of newspapers and the stars on the newspaper denotes the edition. He also explained how they verify numbers of casualties at an accident. They either count the bodies or ask the police for the official figures.
The question of the future of print media, with the advent of digital platforms came up. Mr. Mwinzi responded by saying that though the trend globally has been that some newspapers die due to competition from new media, the narrative is different in Kenya. There still remains an audience which has to read their news in print.
He said that advertisers are also keen on print more than digital platforms. However, the newspaper is cognizant to the changing market dynamics and is evolving. They are also evolving with their target audience. “Same content, different platforms”, added Mr. Mwinzi. Christopher Ndungu said that is why one can now read the digital Nation online.
The recent arrests of bloggers for publishing the truth, also came up. Mr. Mbugua said that journalists and bloggers are facing the same challenge. “If you publish anything that rubs people the wrong way, they might come after you”, he said.
This point prompted the question of journalists who have lost their job at Nation for telling the truth. Mr. Ng’ang’a responded that objectivity is not tied to human resource. “Any journalist can cover the truth objectively”, he said. He added that employers make their decisions to relieve employees of their duties all the time. “It is not unique to the Daily Nation”, he added.
Journalists face a lot of trauma when reporting stories, what measures do the Daily Nation put in place to ensure proper debriefing? They are entitled to their leave days, which they take, even though they work even on Sundays and public holidays. There is a policy of pulling a reporter off a story when they become so attached to the subject. “Reporters are expected to be super humans of sorts”, said Mr. Mbugua.
The third annual South African based, African Bloggers Awards competition opened for entries in Mid-February and is ongoing. The competition has announced three new categories for Social and Digital Influencers across the African Continent.
These new categories, opened in association with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, aim to raise awareness of social issues that affect the continent. They are:
•Women and Girls’ Empowerment
•Social Issues & Active Citizenship
The three new categories will raise awareness of bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers, Facebook and Twitter account holders who are passionate about reporting stories about women and girls’ empowerment, public health and social issues. For the first time, they have the opportunity to gain recognition for the essential work they do in highlighting important issues.
The African Blogger Awards aims to acknowledge talented African Bloggers, Tweeters, YouTubers, Facebookers, and Instagrammers. One is eligible to enter the awards as long as they are permanent residents of any African country.
Previous Kenyan winners include Niaje.com, Actors.co.ke, Curvy Chronicles, PikaChakula, Kenya Weddings and Xtiandela.
You can submit your entry in up to two of the following categories:
•Top Blog in Africa
•Top YouTube Channel in Africa
•Top Instagrammer in Africa
•Top Facebook Profile in Africa
•Top Twitter Personality in Africa
•Advice and parenting
•Hobbies and DIY
•Technology and Gadgets
•Arts and Culture
•Fashion and Beauty
•Women and girls’ empowerment
•Social Issues and Active Citizenship
•Specific to Country
•Business, Finance and Entrepreneurship
•Food and Drink
•Marketing, Media and Brand