The Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015, arguably the biggest international business meet up that Kenya has had in the last two decades received criticisms from Kenyans as to how the media covered it. Co-chaired by President Obama and President Uhuru Kenyatta, the global event brought together some of the top entrepreneurs and companies together in what can be seen as a once in a lifetime opportunity to catalyze entrepreneurship in Kenya.
Kenyan entrepreneurs, companies and startups had an opportunity to pitch their ideas to the likes of Richard Branson and Daymond John among others.
The coverage of the events on the other hand, left many people unhappy due to the media’s coverage of sideshows and non issues. There were murmurs about a week ago when the media was awash with reports and pictures of the vehicles that were brought in for President Obama’s use while in Kenya and little on the GES Summit opportunities.
This was captured in a Facebook post by Sam Gichuru where he called on his followers to keep the GES summit debate alive on his wall following the disappointing coverage by the local media.
After the first day of GES summit, Kenyans took to social media to vent on their frustration at the media coverage which seemed to weigh more on the side issues than the Entrepreneurship conversations, dealings and opportunities at the conference. Some did it with more than a healthy dose of sarcasm.
I’ve been one of the most critical kenyans on how our pressmen and women do their trade here. #KenyaMediaFailure
— Dikembe (@Disembe) July 25, 2015
Some Kenyan journalists took to social media to engage with those that were criticizing the media coverage. Some of the challenges faced in coverage of GES come to light such as the difficulty in accessing the venues.
Methinks the media went where the “subject” of news (Obama) was; @POTUS‘s visit was more about him than the GE summit.
— Dennis Onsarigo (@Donsarigo) July 25, 2015
GoK also denied the entire Radio Africa team access to the GES. The only accreditation issued is JKIA & Kasarani which is by the US embassy.
— Oliver Mathenge™ (@OliverMathenge) July 25, 2015
The journalists also weighed in on the debate, in different ways.
Watching a local bulletin and I can almost understand the irk behind #KenyaMediaFailure . Top 4 stories all about colour. Nothing on issues
— FERDINAND OMONDI (@FerdyOmondi) July 25, 2015
So #KenyaMediaFailure is trending huh??ok then..those with a problem go to Gigiri and give us your live feed..let’s see how that works…
— Kirigo Ng’arua 😉 (@KirigoNgarua) July 25, 2015
Style over substance is a never ending debate in journalism…I reckon it’s a healthy debate to have if, both parties, observe decorum.
— James Smart (@jamessmat) July 25, 2015
Finally, for the media the criticism is also an excellent opportunity to gather insights and improve as advised by some. Will they heed ?
Kenyan media (researchers) should really mine the insights in the #KenyaMediaFailure hashtag. It’s a minefield of insights,not just shade.
— Nanjira (@NiNanjira) July 26, 2015
Perhaps media will do more now that the GES Summit has come to an end to enlighten masses on what the agreements were and how they will benefit.