8 NMG columnists resign, cite gov’t interference


8 NMG columnists resign, cite gov’t interference
NMG columnists from left Fr. Gabriel Dolan, Maina Kiai, Rasna Warah, Kwamchetsi Makokha and George Kegoro

In Summary

  • Eight opinion-piece writers accuse management at Nation Media Group (NMG) of being too close to Jubilee.
  • The columnists include Rasna Warah, Kwamchetsi Makokha, George Kegoro, Muthoni Wanyeki, Nic Cheeseman, Fr. Gabriel Dolan, Maina Kiai and Gabrielle Lynch.
  • According to them, the government is able "to influence who works for or contributes to" the Daily Nation.

Columnists from a leading media house in Kenya have resigned en masse accusing the firm of allowing government to interfere with editorial decisions, a charge the publisher denied.

Eight opinion-piece writers have accused Nation Media Group (NMG) managment of being too close to the ruling party Jubilee.

“We refuse to continue to clothe the loss of editorial independence and media freedom at the NMG with respectability,” the columnists said in a statement on Twitter.

The columnists include Rasna Warah, Kwamchetsi Makokha, George Kegoro, Muthoni Wanyeki, Nic Cheeseman, Fr. Gabriel Dolan, Maina Kiai and Gabrielle Lynch.

According to them, the government is able “to influence who works for or contributes to” the Daily Nation.

Nation Media Group later issued a statement to reassure its readers of its commitment to media freedom. There was however no immediate comment from the government.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime launched a crackdown that affected the media after the legitimacy of his re-election last year was challenged by opposition leader Raila Odinga.

In a separate incident, police assaulted journalists covering the attempted deportation of fiery lawyer Miguna Miguna from Nairobi airport on Monday.

During the scuffle, journalists from Citizen TV, Daily Nation and NTV were assaulted and left injured.

“I watched a police officer kick my colleague in the back, then kick his camera, then with his other leg kick in him in the head,” journalist Ibrahim Oruko said.

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