Media employees to lose jobs as Jubilee government declares advertising blackout
The move will also see the local newspapers be deprived millions of shillings in revenue.
During a special cabinet meeting held on February 8, the cabinet discussed and approved the establishment of a wide circulation newspaper to be known as MY. GOV that is aimed at articulating the government’s agenda and where all adverts will be published.
All State agencies too have been asked to direct adverts to the publication.
The Government Advertisement Agency (GAA) had asked representatives from the commercial departments of various media houses to give a quotation on how much they can charge to distribute the paper.
Media houses rejection
According to The Standard, media executives rejected the move and insisted that they can only carry the insert on condition that they have a say in the editorial content and adverts thereon are paid as per individual media houses rates.
Media owners are interpreting the move as a slap on their faces coming at a time the State, through GAA, owes them more than Sh1 billion in unpaid adverts for the past 18 months.
The People Daily owned by President Kenyatta’s family has since accepted the offer while The Standard and the Star newspapers declined. It’s not clear if The Nation was given the offer.
Through a circular, the Head of Civil Service and Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua said that besides carrying information on specific development projects, MY. GOV will contain useful information on government tenders, opportunities available to the youth and other useful news on government development programmes which is currently unavailable through other media.
“In line with the government’s desire to cut costs in the provision of services to the public, there will be no need for MDA’s to use resources allocated to them to advertise their services and convey requests for services from the market,” the circular read in part.
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