Media personality Njambi Koikai has called out Kenyan media houses accusing them of overlooking trained broadcast journalists for social media influencers.
According to the experienced radio presenter, various media companies have been hiring unskilled personalities based on their social media influence instead of journalistic merit.
Njambi spoke after Radio Africa’s Homeboyz Radio was caught up in a storm following a breach of media ethics laws on March 2 by its presenters Shaffie Weru, Joseph Munoru (DJ Joe Mfalme), and Neville Musya.
Taking to social media, Ms Koikai said the media industry has become diluted as a result of media houses turning to social media personalities.
“Most of us, professionally trained broadcast journalists, with experience have been overlooked since the advent of social media. It’s very common to see people spewing hate, vitriol, sexist remarks with no ethics at all, picked from these social media streets and placed in a studio behind a microphone or a screen,” she said.
“It has been our silent struggle. Our industry became diluted. Experience didn’t matter. Great grades didn’t matter. Numbers matter. But at what cost? It’s become an industry of consideration over merit,” added Njambi.
She further lamented that many media school graduates remain jobless while those who have jobs are gagged by their employers.
“Every year, universities are churning out broadcast journalists with nowhere to go. If you stand your ground and focus on your values, you’re too feisty and traditional. I’ve been in this space for far too long. Bosses dictating what ‘content’ you should engage in at the expense of???? For TV, we now have to be sexy to be presenters,” Njambi averred.
She went on: “I’ve consistently heard how some of these people behind a mic or Tv claim to have no influence and people should mind their own business. A microphone is a powerful tool, it has led to wars, it has brought peace.”
Njambi Koikai further recalled her media journey saying she underwent two years of rigorous training before she had her own show.
“I’m an alumnus of the great KBC. It was common for broadcasters to prep their shows, take them for analysis and by the time the mic is on, they knew what was at stake. There was no room for some of these things we experience today. It was common occurence for anyone heard engaging in unethical content or trying to engage, hounded out of studios mid-air. At KBC, I was trained rigourously for 2 years before I could have a show of my own,” wrote the Trace FM resenter.
Njambi also appreciated her new employers saying: “I’m glad I found a new space at Trace Radio that adheres to the same broadcast ethics. It has taken me more than a decade to finally find a radio station where my beliefs, values, and broadcast-style is appreciated.
“May the Kenyan media learn from this and engage in due diligence. There are many unemployed graduates who are also fun and hype. Search for them and train them. Remember this new generation Z is not playing,” she concluded.