“We used to see over 220,000 copies of Sunday newspapers sold, now, we are talking about 70,000 newspapers sold. Times have changed, digital media is taking over,” says Mr. David Omwoyo, the CEO at Media Council of Kenya.
The coming of the internet has revolutionized how people interact and consume news in Kenya. GeoPoll found out that 76 percent of Kenyans consume their news online and only 10 percent confirm with the mainstream media of the authenticity of whatever they saw online.
“I can make a prediction that by 2022, prime time news will be gone. What are you telling me at 9 pm that I don’t know already?” he added during an ongoing Media Council conference in Naivasha, bringing together online content creators (bloggers).
For years, bloggers in Kenya have been dismissed as jokers, rumormongers, and people who are “never serious” with their work. But as Eric Oduor puts it, “there is no difference between a blogger and a journalist. They are all content creators. We just need to better our content for a better society.”
Truth is, bloggers are now ruling the airwaves in terms of the content. In fact, the mainstream media is just doing what is called “catchup”. The mainstream media in Kenya is not serious about online platforms and they will soon be overtaken. The majority of them have left digital platforms for interns. “One of the challenges mainstream media are facing is that they put interns on digital media and nobody is editing the stories,” says Omwoyo.
There is a need for media houses’ online editors to proofread what goes online instead of leaving the job to interns who might share unedited content. The future is pegged on content creation. Content will not die but the current model of news delivery will die.
“But how can Bloggers make money without begging google to pay them? How can big brands appreciate local bloggers to spend on them instead of Facebook and Google?” asks Soko Analyst.