Help to keep your favourite sources of reliable information afloat

The current world still needs communication and the established, organised media remains the only reliable system. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Truth be told, it has not been easy for the legacy media in Kenya. The business and political environments have conspired to make it difficult for the media. However, this is one area that we can not say “serikali saidia”. As much as the government has a role to play, the ultimate player in the media industry is you, mwananchi. You, the reader. You, the viewer. You the listener.

It starts with appreciating why the media exist, then knowing what you can do to promote their existence by doing the right thing in order to make them to serve you better.

Since the creation of the world, communication has been the lifeline of society. Human survival is aided by communication. Throughout history, every society created system a in which critical matters were communicated. If there were floods coming, there were means of passing the message to help people move to higher ground.

That has not changed. The current world still needs communication. And the established, organised media remains the only reliable system.

True, there has been growth of alternative media options, but when it comes to reliability, consistency and accuracy, nothing at present can compare to the mainstream press.

On health matters, for instance, if there is an outbreak of serious diseases like Ebola and cholera as is the case now in the East Africa, only the mainstream press can be trusted to relay the correct information. As mwananchi, getting the correct information about such outbreaks can save your life. You are likely to take extra caution after getting the information.

Mainstream press

Secondly, if you get accurate information regarding security, you will most likely also to take extra caution and report suspicious people and activities.

Thirdly, if there is expected food scarcity, and you get timely and accurate information from the mainstream press, you are most likely to change your feeding habits, and to make arrangements to store food to shield yourself from hunger.

So, what can you, as mwananchi, do to ensure the media remain vibrant? Obviously, it is not cheap to run media outlets. It is not cheap to sustain talent that will collect and give you the critical information. There is a small price to pay.

For instance it costs only Sh40 shillings to get e-paper subscriptions for most daily papers, and Sh60 to get the physical copies. This translates to about Sh1,200 to Sh1,800 per month. Based on consumer figures from many organisations, more than seven million Kenyans can easily afford this.

If media houses have subscriptions from at least seven million Kenyans, their cost of operations would be bearable. Subscribe for your favorite newspaper today to safeguard your source of reliable information.

Mr Opiyo is a media consultant email Gordon. [email protected] 

The Standard
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