‘Unexpected stories of hope’: New York Times’ Nairobi boss advert slammed by KOT


'Unexpected stories of hope': New York Times' Nairobi boss advert slammed by KOT
The New York Times office. PHOTO | COURTESY

In Summary

  • The announcement of the vacancy at the American media outlet’s Nairobi office was posted on their LinkedIn account on Wednesday.
  • Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) have however faulted the wording used in the announcement saying it paints Eastern Africa in bad light.

The New York Times has once more come under heavy criticism from Kenyans on social media over the format of a recent call-out for a Nairobi bureau chief.

The announcement of the vacancy at the American media outlet’s Nairobi office was posted on their LinkedIn account on Wednesday.

“Our Nairobi bureau chief has a tremendous opportunity to dive into news and enterprise across a wide range of countries, from the deserts of Sudan and the pirate seas of the Horn of Africa, down through the forests of Congo and the shores of Tanzania,” read part of the job description.

“It is an enormous patch of vibrant, intense and strategically important territory with many vital story lines, including terrorism, the scramble for resources, the global contest with China and the constant push-and-pull of democracy versus authoritarianism.”

NYT further added: “The ideal candidate should enjoy jumping on news, be willing to cover conflict, and also be drawn to investigative stories. There is also the chance to delight our readers with unexpected stories of hope and the changing rhythms of life in a rapidly evolving region.”

Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) have however faulted the wording used in the announcement saying it paints Eastern Africa in bad light.

Many also condemned the media outlet for allegedly seeking only rather negative stories from the region and the continent at large.

Others even questioned why NYT would not include – in the advert – that it was seeking someone able to dig out positive stories from the region such as innovation or the impact of mobile money services.

BBC Africa Business Editor Larry Madowo even sarcastically shared the job advert saying “I live for the white gaze.”

NYT has previously been trolled by Kenyans online when it published photos of the dead during the January Dusit terror attack.

Coincidentally, the author of the story – Kimiko de Freytas – was poised to become the NYT East African bureau chief prior to the coverage.

She however changed her Twitter bio to read “Foreign Correspondent at The New York Times” following the outrage that came on the backdrop of the article.

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Story By Wambui Kihara
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