Photo source: Twitter
Eight prominent columnists have resigned from contributing opinion articles to the Nation Media Group, saying the company’s editorial independence has been eroded.
The East African media giant owns several print, broadcast and digital outlets across the region.
The columnists accuse the media conglomerate of failing to protect its editorial independence by allowing the Kenyan government “to influence who works for or contributes to the NMG.”
“We refuse to continue to clothe the loss of editorial independence and media freedom at the NMG with respectability,” reads a letter written and signed by the columnists.
The columnists cite dismissal from the group of a critical managing editor Dennis Galava, NTV general manager Linus Kaikai and popular cartoonist Gado as the work of the Kenyan presidency.
“The Executive and NMG’s actions suggest state capture of the media. Censoring individual columnists signals official intolerance for dissenting views, and suggests Executive willingness to go to any length – even co-opting editors – to achieve its aims”, reads the letter.
NMG responded in an editorial saying, “our core values remain steadfast at all times.”
See the full letter in Tweet below.
BREAKING: Senior Columnists @NationMediaGrp resign over media freedom and interference of editorial freedom #NMGExodus @ItsGeorgeKegoro @MuthoniWanyeki1 @GabrielDolan1 @RasnaWarah @Maina_Kiai @Fromagehomme @kwamchetsi @GabrielleLynch6 @JFJustice pic.twitter.com/TbMfwz2XKB
— ICJ Kenya (@ICJKenya) March 27, 2018
Columnist and Professor of Democracy at the University of Birmingham Nic Cheeseman explained in detail why he had chosen to resign.
For those interested in my personal reasons for resigning today, after recently saying that I would try to continue, here is my resignation letter to Nation colleagues saying farewell and explaining why I felt I was left with no choice. #NMGExodus pic.twitter.com/xYou89nrw4
— Prof Nic Cheeseman (@Fromagehomme) March 27, 2018
Columnist Gabriel Dolan tweeted a phot of his last column in the Daily Nation newspaper
— Gabriel Dolan (@GabrielDolan1) March 27, 2018
Follow the conversation on twitter via #NMGExodus