Blow to Nation Media Group as Columnists quit

Here is why NMG Columnists have quit

In a statement, the columnists protested against editorial interference allegedly being spearheaded by the management.

They also accused the paper of working for the Government hence challenging its credibility while reporting on matters portraying the Executive in a bad light.

“A worrying pattern has emerged where it appears the Executive is able to influence who works for or contributes to the NMG,” the statement read.

They claimed that the recent sacking of NTV managing Director Linus Kaikai and the termination of Economist David Ndii’s contract, who was also a columnist, was a directive from the Government.

According to the columnists, this was done with the motive of gagging the media.

“Last month, the NMG released from its service Linus Kaikai who as Chair of Kenya Editors Guild has spoken out against collusion between the Executive and some media managers to censor reporting on the mock-swearing-in of Opposition leader Raila Odinga.

“Subsequently, the editors of the Saturday Nation informed one of the most-read and discussed columnists that his contract would not be renewed, and only after he formally inquired about his status.

“Long before the communication, it was reported that discontinuing economist David Ndii’s column was one of the Executive’s conditions for the reinstatement of the NMG’s broadcast frequencies, which had been unlawfully switched off,” the statement read.

The columnists went ahead to express their displeasure with how NMG’s management was conducting itself noting that it had now become a hostile environment to carrying our their journalistic work.

"We refuse to clothe the loss of editorial independence and media freedom at the NMG with respectability,” they said.

Among the leading columnists who have withdrawn their contract include Saturday Nation’s Maina Kiai, Kwamchetsi Makokha, George Kegoro among others.

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