Media personality Njambi Koikai has taken to social media to protest against Kenyan media houses hiring social media influencers with no journalism backgrounds to replace professionals in the media industry.
Voicing her sentiments via Instagram, the former presenter stated that numerous companies have now turned to hiring unskilled famous social media individuals to run the broadcast journalism industry as media school graduates remain jobless.
Njambi says this has led to a lack of observance of the media ethics law that guides journalists.
"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. It has been our silent struggle. Our industry became diluted. The experience didn't matter. Great grades didn't matter. Numbers matter.
"But at what cost? It's become an industry of consideration over merit. 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," she wrote.
Recalling her past years as a trainee at Kenya Broadcasting Cooperation (KBC), Njambi explained that each staff member would go through rigorous training to prepare them for the outside world if they got their shows.
Before going live on air, Njambi revealed that presenters would prep their shows and their content approved by management to avoid going forward with unethical content, unlike today.
"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, and it has brought peace. I'm an alumni of the great KBC. It was common for broadcasters to prep their shows, take it 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 occurrence for anyone heard engaging in unethical content or trying to engage, hounded out of studios mid-air. At KBC, I was trained rigorously for 2 years before I could have a show of my own," she added.
The Thoracic Endometriosis survivor concluded by calling upon media houses to change the narrative and start employing equally fun journalism graduates and hype.
"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."