Move by Kenya Government to withdraw adverts from private media ill-informed
There are indications that the Government intends to totally withdraw its advertising from mainstream media houses and place it on a government-run portal; MY GOV. The tradition has been that advertisements from government ministries and institutions get carried in the mainstream media, obviously because of its broad platform and wider reach. But since 2013 when the Jubilee coalition took over Government, revenue from advertising in mainstream media has shrunk from nearly 50 per cent to about 20 per cent currently. Part of the reason for the job losses in the industry is as a result of this; a contradiction of the Government's pledge to create jobs for Kenyans. The Government’s rationale for concentrating advertisements on one platform is to cut down on costs as well as rein in corrupt practices. While no one begrudges the Government the right to cut costs, the move besides the resultant job losses is an infringement on media freedom and the citizens’ right to information as guaranteed by the Constitution.
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