A Kenyan newspaper (The Star) published a report claiming that the National Intelligence Service of Kenya (NIS) advised the government to close high schools immediately. The story comes a day after another media house claimed that the intelligence service had been tasked by the government to get to the bottom of the school fires. These stories can only be viewed with contempt and treated as propaganda.
These 2 events present a case of “poor journalism ethics” in media houses; these reports were false and not government of Kenya positions in principal. On the other hand, ‘how did the NIS advise the government to close schools 24 hours after it was tasked to identify and neutralize the threat factoring the fires?’ It is standard procedure that a team is formed, more often a joint task force, assembled, briefed, and then deployed/tasked on the operation. The team gathers the intelligence on the threat, meets in 24hrs for a brainstorming session which includes sharing the collected intelligence. The secretary of the brainstorming session produces a preliminary report which is analyzed during the session. Once the team adopts the final notes, the report is submitted to analysts for production and subsequent briefing of the customer. This would take approximately 48 hours. How then did the Service give a report in 12hrs? Why did the journalists make the wild allegations? It is an obvious case of the journalist attempting to draw the intelligence service in murky waters of the exam leak’s & cheating cartels.
Who is behind the fires?
Initial assessments show exam cartels which were deeply embedded within the school’s leadership and the National Exam Council are factoring the unrest. In some instances, the school heads have been found complicit in the arson.
The cartels are also sponsoring journalists to provide biased reports on what is factoring the arson in secondary schools. It is obvious the authors of such disinformation are mere conspiracy buffs and beneficiaries of the cartels.
Exam cheating cartels was a multimillion shillings dark-world industry. Today it is starved and out of business. These kingpins are using their network of stakeholders to attempt arm-twisting the Ministry of Education into revising the tough measures that completely fractured the network and eradicated exam cheating in schools.
According to the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the frustration by the cartels, that they can’t sell exams to cheaters, and the fear by exam cheaters that they’ll fail their exams is the problem and that journalists paid by these cartel shouldn’t draw the intelligence service to the dirty world of school fires through disinformation.
Summarily, journalists should source information from authentic sources, reference the sources well enough, and provide balanced purviews on the subject. Subjective assessment and ‘paid for’ reports are contemptuous, and that indeed, is not distinctive journalism, rather distinctive criminal activities.