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Dog insults and why columnists are entitled to air their opinions freely
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|Dog insults and why columnists are entitled to air their opinions freely by Kenyans247(1): Fri 25, December, 2020 09:49am|
What you need to know:
The views of NMG are given in unsigned editorials.
NMG publishes such views to allow different views to be expressed, to provide a platform for debate, analytical and critical comments on society.
Responding to an article on Raila Odinga, a young man called the author, columnist Kaltum Guyo, a bitch. Calling a woman a bitch is the mother of all insults. I’m not surprised she took the fight to the enemy.
In her follow-up article, “Stop ODM’s ‘culture of violence”, in Monday’s Daily Nation this week, she writes: “If ODM thinks bitches and dogs are worse than their members marauding like hyenas, they should think again. I’m in no doubt that the insulting young man was inspired by his party’s belief of anger, verbal abuse and violence.”
The article, published on December 21, says ODM has solidified its image of a party hell-bent on causing chaos. “The bitter exchange between Malindi ODM MP Aisha Jumwa and the secretary-general, Edwin Sifuna, at the Coast recently, defines the party’s culture of chaos, insults and thuggery,” Ms Guyo writes.
Readers who follow Ms Guyo’s article will know that she does not mince her words. She says what she means clearly and directly, even where the public editor may fear to tread, I dare say. The titles of her pieces show this. Sample: “Hustler-Dynasty line a big con,” “A million Cuban doctors won’t save us,” and “English no mark of intelligence.”
Keen follower of politics
Her December 21 article has provoked a passioned reaction from Moses Nyambaka, who tells me he is not an ODM official “but keen follower of politics and media.” He engaged me in a long telephone conversation in which he claimed Ms Guyo’s writing “reflects the Nation Media Group thinking.”
He cited several examples of Nation reportage to prove his case. I will not go into those examples here as I am replying directly to him and many readers may not hold the same views to justify a public discussion of the examples. What I want to say here is that there is a distinction between the views of NMG and those of its columnists. The two should never be confused.
The views of NMG are given in unsigned editorials. In the case of the Daily Nation, the editorials, usually two, are currently published on page 16, to represent the authoritative voice of the Nation Media Group. So, if you are looking for the official position of NMG, look no further.
Other views that do not belong to NMG are published as op-eds authored by regular columnists such as Kaltum Guyo or Macharia Gaitho and guest columnist such as Wilson Sossion or Russian ambassador Dmitri Maksimychev. NMG publishes such views to allow different views to be expressed, to provide a platform for debate, analytical and critical comments on society. This is the duty of a free Press.
“The Press protects the Freedom of Speech and of the media and it should not yield to any pressure from anybody or any institution that might want to prevent the free flow of accurate factual information, free access to sources and open debate on any matter of importance to society,” the NMG editorial policy says.
Ms Guyo’s article, or op-ed as journalists normally say, is published on Mondays, opposite the Nation editorial(s). The term “op-ed” was popularised by The New York Times in the 1970s, to describe opinions published opposite the editorial pages of the newspaper, and not just physically.
“The objective is rather to afford greater opportunity for exploration of issues and presentation of new insights and new ideas by writers and thinkers who have no institutional connection with The Times and whose views will very frequently be completely divergent from our own,” the Times introduction to the newly-created opinion pages stated. NMG follows the same conventional wisdom.
The Public Editor is an independent news ombudsman who handles readers’ complaints on editorial matters including accuracy and journalistic standards. Email: email@example.com. Call or text 0721989264.
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