When a dog bites a man it is not news but when a man bites a do it is news” is a common phrase that best summarizes what journalism is all about. An item becomes news if it is bad or out of the ordinary and the local media in Kenya has been famous for pulling out such stories.
But the story was different in today’s print, electronic and online media in Kenya and abroad. In the local dailies in Kenya, for example, warm homecoming messages towards the president of the United States of America Barrack Obama flooded the headlines. A scan through the dailies showed optimism and a patriotic media that beat all odds to paint a good image of Kenya, ahead of the much awaited visit by President Obama.
The Standard Newspaper Headline read: “Karibu Obama”, a Kiswahili translation for “Welcome home Obama”. Coincidentally, Daily Nation shared a similar headline. The People Daily newspaper headline read: “Welcome home son” while the Star Newspaper read “Welcome”. However, known for its sometimes controversial and sometimes sensational messages, the Nairobian newspaper, a publication of the Standard Media group had this headline
“How sex scandals made Obama President.”
International media was not left out in the positive coverage of Obama visit to Kenya, despite a previous news headline by CNN TV depicting Kenya as a terrorism zone. Channel News Asia reported: “Obama in Kenya for first Presidential trip to father’s homeland.”
France 24 tweeted: ”
— FRANCE 24 (@FRANCE24) July 24, 2015
BBC reported: “President Obama starts two-day Kenya visit.” Read the story here:
BBC President Obama starts two-day Kenya visit http://t.co/RtFXAsuXV3
— Lillian Kaivilu (@liliankaivilu) July 24, 2015
When President Obama landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport minutes after 8pm on Friday, the focus of the day was the glamour and color around his reception by President Uhuru Kenyatta and a section of the cabinet and other delegates.
Among those that accompanied President Uhuru Kenyatta to the airport to receive President Obama included United States Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec, Foreign Affairs and Internatioal Trade Cabinet Secretary Amb Amina Mohammed, her Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, Defense Cabinet secretary , Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and President Obama’s sister Auma Obama among others.
— Brian Inganga (@BrianInganga) July 25, 2015
However, the media would later question the conspicuous absentia of the Deputy President William Ruto who apparently was at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre representing President Kenyatta at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Prof Makau Mutua tweeted: ”
Others made fun of the Deputy President’s absentia: ”
— Jun Jun (@Frank_Wanga) July 24, 2015