Monday, 31 January 2011

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Splendid Beauty

Just like a storm you came around
Blowing out and breaking my defense lines
Couldn’t stand the striking beauty in you
Splendid beauty you posses surely

Caught by crystal charm
I couldn’t surely, the beauty of your petite figure
Your exquisite nature did it all
The splendor of your beauty had a charm on me

Your thin lips when I kissed them
Gave an ecstasy feeling and joy
It tasted like berry which is ripe
Your kiss remained enshrined in mind

The curve of your thighs surely
The electrifying effect it had on me
I couldn’t stand it no, I couldn’t
Enthralled by your beauty and high spirits
I envisage in future and have you
To hold you and kiss in my arms
Because yours is a splendid beauty

Electrifying eyes you have
That pierces to great length of my heart
Leaving me exposed and be swayed away
Splendid beauty in you did it all.

 photo (David Odongo)

Friday, 14 January 2011


 It’s the self worth that make one
entwined together like a spider’s web
nothing to break through
someone’s pearls of wisdom

What ignites ones personality
the driving force towards innovation and creation
that has seen great men soar high
wisdom, ones instant imagination

the curtain that open the stage
when nations rise against nation
the heart of Mesopotamia
children, women cry, why the bloodshed?
That leave no serenity and rest
Life full of fear and worry

Wisdom, impoverishing our world
Not for the good for humanity
Friends grow into enemies
Neighbors see each other as strangers
Trust becomes muck

Where is the wisdom
That bring bias in society
Females looked down upon
Street urchins lonely in the streets
Where is the life of great
Noble creed?

Where is the wisdom that value
Peace rather war!
That tie ones personal liberation?
Where is the legacy we leave behind?
Yes, where is wisdom prevailing?

Thursday, 13 January 2011

What is the bearing of culture on journalistic ethics?

Culture is a system of shared belief, values, customs, behaviours and rituals that members of a society use to cope with another (the total way of life of a people). Moreover, communication cannot be over-estimated for human life, for without communication no society can exist, much less develop and survive.

This case, communication is the systematic process in which people create shared meanings. The meaning are created and shared by groups of people through participation that form the context of common interpretations.
Communication gives expression to culture while the latter serves as the basis and that which gives meaning to the former (communication code, context and meaning are determined by culture) (Kuncizik: 1984).
If there is to be successful intercultural communication (occurs whenever a message producer is a member of one experiential background and a message receiver is a member of a different experiential background), we must be aware of the cultural factors affecting communication in both our own culture and the culture of the party. Attention must be paid, for example, to cultural variables, which greatly affect the perceptual processes and hence, our intercultural communicative behaviour. A few examples of such variables:
Attitudes: these are psychological states that predispose us to act in certain ways, e.g. ethnocentrism, viewing people by using our own ways as the standard for all judgment and stereotype, assigning of attributes to another person solely on the basis of the class they belong.
Patterns of thought: these are methods adopted for defining sources of knowledge, and organizing coherent thinking- reasoning patterns. To improve our intercultural communication, we must be aware of the effects that differences in reasoning patterns have on communicative behaviour.
Roles and role prescriptions: they vary culturally- e.g. male-female role behaviours of members of one culture may seem strange to members of another culture. The holds true for such variables as social organization, language, space, time conceptulisation and the many non-verbal expressions.

All these variables have the ability to influence our perception and to affect the meaning we assign to communicative acts. Therefore, a need to improve our intercultural communication ability, we need to be aware of the effect which differences in all these have on communicative behavior.

Since the birth of modern journalism in the 17th century, journalism has gradually broaden the scope of the people that it claims to serve -- from factions to specific social classes to the public of nations. The journalistic principle of “serving the public interest” has been understood, tacitly or explicitly, as serving one’s own public, social class or nation.

The other principles of objectivity, impartiality and editorial independence were limited by this parochial understanding of who journalism serves. For example, “impartiality” meant being impartial in one’s coverage of rival groups within one’s society, but not necessarily being impartial to groups outside one’s national boundaries.

Growth of global journalism, then, can be seen as a platform that is now shaping journalism ethics -- to regard journalism’s “public” as the citizens of the world, and to interpret the ethical principles of objectivity, balance and independence in an international manner.

On a historical perspective regarding the widely differing ideas underlying free expression authoritarian, libertarian and social responsibility models, distinguished by the levels of freedom they each allow and by the attitudes of the ruling and political classes towards the freedoms grated to offer good point for discussing the press and democracy.

Of great importance in relation to culture and journalism is the social responsibility model.  Mass media had grown too powerful and needed to become more socially responsible. Key recommendations encouraged comprehensive news reports that put issues and events in context, more news forums for the exchange of ideas, better coverage of society’s range of economic classes and social groups (Campbell 1998: 442).

This is a normative theory calling for responsible ethical industry operation. Journalists being a part  of society means we need to adhere to rules that help that society work an ordered society is one in which everyone knows, accepts and ideally, adheres  to the rules and also accepts the right of society to judge and punish those who break those rules.

Some elements of unacceptable social behavior are damaging enough to a society for the whole of that society to be concerned with their suppression.

Although society is naturally concerned with actions that apply to the whole of society, there are a number of actions hat can only be perpetrated by certain people in certain positions. Some are so important to society that they are legislated. 

This is where professional ethics become important. A journalist is in the same position. For example, if he or she takes advantage of a situation and does not deal fairly with those to whom he or she owes loyalty the, it is unlikely that society will suffer directly. There are a wide range of issues in which journalists are involved that are not subject to the law but must be considered from an ethical viewpoint (Linard:2002: pp2).

Culture influences language use of communication between members of diverse culture. This can be a challenge in the way culture influences communication styles. Therefore, as communicators, we should understand that:

  1. The media influences how we perceive social experience because they tend to depict us in ways that reinforce cultural views.
  2. The more media we use, the more accepting we tend to become of social stereotypes and the more likely we help perpetuate the unrealistic and limiting perception presented to us.
  3. The media helps socialize us. Through old and new media we supplement what we already internalized about behavior and values in direct counters with other people. Their portrayals help us access the preferred patterns of behavior and appearance. By doing so they teach us social norms and values, help us learn what’s expected of us including how we are supposed to think, act and look thus, they participate in our socialization.
On the other hand, culture has a great influence on group communication. It is one of the forces that shape the action in which they exist. Providing a set of constituted assumptions that determines how members will behave towards one another. Of importance is the collectivism aspect where societies feel loyalties and obligation to groups of which they are members.

This is an important perspective when relating culture and journalism ethics because Journalism ethics are becoming more “cosmopolitan” in tone and perspective.

Enhancing this aspect, trends working together to crystallize the growing need for developing intercultural sensitivities and improve communication techniques. Learning more about how culture affects behavior helps to reduce friction and misunderstanding. Cultures affecting the need to communicate across cultures are:

  1. Globalization of markets: today’s businesses are transacted by people from around the world. National boundaries mean less as businesses expand through mergers, alliances and acquisition. Therefore, different companies (the media not left out) must adapt to other cultures.
  2. Technological advances in transportation and information: this aspect is making the world smaller and more intertwined. Their defining characteristic is the capacity to harness access and apply information and diffuse knowledge at electronic speed to all types of human activity thereby giving rise to contemporary knowledge based economies and societies. Consequently, transforming social, economical, cultural and political interactions all over.
  3. Immigration: many immigrants from different cultures settle in different areas. This affect changes he complexion of the workforce. Therefore, successful interaction requires awareness and accommodation. Learning more about how affects behavior also helps you to reduce friction and misunderstanding.

The global journalist’s primary loyalty is to the information needs of world citizens. Journalists should refuse to define themselves as attached primarily to factions, regions or even countries. Serving the public means serving more than one’s local readership or audience, or even the public of one’s country.

The global journalist frames issues broadly and uses a diversity of sources and perspectives to promote a nuanced understanding of issues from an international perspective. Journalism should work against a narrow ethnocentrism or patriotism.  Under global journalism ethics, objectivity becomes the ideal of informing impartially from an international stance. 

Objectivity in journalism has usually been understood as the duty to avoid bias toward groups within one’s own country. Global objectivity takes on the additional responsibility of allowing bias towards one’s country or culture as a whole to distort reports, especially reports on international issues.

Objective reports, to be accurate and balanced, must contain all relevant international sources and cross-cultural perspectives. In addition, global journalism asks journalists to be more conscious of how they frame the global public’s perspective on major stories, and how they set the international news agenda. The aim of global journalism should be more than helping the public sphere “go well” at home, as civic journalists say. The aim should be to facilitate rational deliberation in a global public sphere.

Global journalism ethics implies a firm journalistic response to inward-looking attitudes, such as extreme patriotism. Cosmopolitanism means that the primary ethical duty of a global journalism in times of conflict and uncertainty is not patriotism of blind allegiance, or muted criticism. Public duty calls for independent, hard-edged news, along with investigations and analysis.

The functions a society assigns to the press or mass media are also decisive to journalistic ethics. Therefore To upgrade social values the journalist should:

  1. Accept and fulfill certain obligations to society by setting high standards of professionalism. Truth, accuracy and objectivity.
  2. Avoid disseminating material that might lead to crime, violence, a civil disorder or that may offend minority groups.
  3. Be pluralistic, reflect the diversity of the culture in which they operate and give access to various points of view and right to reply.
  4. Be accountable to society as well as their employers and the market.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Mama, Ma Me're

I stand by the window and watch
The moon hidden behind the clouds, darkness…
Then tears streaming down
Reminding me of your broken love
And I say. “Papa, stop hitting mama”

Papa, mama cries in pain
Why hit her?
What wrong has she done?
Show her the love you had before
Mama, stop crying
You make me cry too

Papa, mama, you are the flame in my life
Burning ever so bright
Why, papa beat mama?
Making me wonder
What love is?
And papa say, “Sorry child,
I will never hit her again”
Thank you papa

Mama, your tender-loving and caring self
Making me wonder
What to give in return-roses?
But that would not be enough
I say thank you mama

I sit back and wonder, mama
What a life without you
Would be like but,
I would not even dream of
A world without you mama.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

It is time for green revolution on development agenda

A call on the government to put a “clean and secure environment” on the forefront, even as it trudges towards the country’s development road map, the Kenya vision 2030: after the parliament approved a motion calling on the government to develop emission standards, curb pollution and combat climate change is really commendable.

The approval is long overdue because many communities have felt the consequences that are being caused by climate change as a result of not conserving our resources, poor crop yields, and delay in rains and erratic weather patterns.

These have made them to become conscious of what the environment means to them.
On the other hand, as climate change has risen on the development agenda, so has the demand for research to understand the effects it will have on society and what can be done by governments, businesses, communities and households to deal with its impacts.

The rapid increase in development assistance funding for climate change has brought with it opportunities to scale up work on development and poverty reduction.

The government’s effort to come to the fore front to put the push for a “green economy” at the core of the development agenda is a wakeup call for all of us to come on board in a participatory manner to reduce high pollution and accumulation of toxic waste, and greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.

It is not time to wait upon the government to come and bail us out but to be able to implement climate change policies aimed for adaptation interventions to sustain the meager resources we have.

As a result of collective efforts, evaluation of community initiatives of integrating the various activities undertaken in conservation, and the impact on national policy making and on the local livelihoods will be achieved in the long run.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Let us give the youth a voice to close gaps in disparities through media

The present generation of young people, unlike its predecessors, lives in an increasingly
globalizing world that is being transformed by a wide range of technological innovations.
Despite these major developments, it is a world that still faces deep socio-economic disparities across various regions.
A major goal of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - UNESCO pertains to media education and youth development. Over the last couple of years, numerous programmes and projects have been developed to explore youth involvement in media.
Although, journalists and scholars have been talking about the emergence of youth media cultures around the world, young people are increasingly being excluded from participation in media.
It is in this context, participation becomes a key notion that needs to be nurtured. Youth participation in media is a key strategy that needs to be strengthened at various levels – local, regional, national, and international.
As a result, young people, working with a range of media materials, will produce innovative content through dialogue and discussions.
This serves as a wake up call that, the acquisition of media-making, knowledge and skills, embedded in the lived experience of young people, offers unique perspectives, a vision and a voice that need to be examined to understand youth participation in media.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Is there a need for a tombstone?

 To live in the hearts of those we love is never to die
I fondly reminiscence the good old times I had with my grandparents. To be biased, my grandma. Far apart from my dad and mum, I had my grandma who was caring, loving, understanding and above all, a great companion who took care of my needs.

Whatever parents fear allowing their kids to be around their grandparents for fear of making them softies, but looking at my grandma whom I give credit, she molded in me a spirit of hard work, helping those in need, respect for all and above all doing everything to the best of your ability. All this wasn’t mere theory but something that has done practically. 

She was a mirror to all. She never went hungry. Her granary was full of enough food: maize, millet and sorghum, all obtained through her sweat. She had enough to give out to her already married daughters something that I perceived not to be quite right; they never toiled with her.

 Anyway, my grandma never compromised with anyone when there was work to be done on the shamba.
I would wake up early at dawn only to find that she had my breakfast ready and a jembe or I ready to accompany her to the shamba.
A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots are withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble. --- Charles Spurgeon 
Nevertheless, she is now gone. When I pass by her grave, a burial mound that is being encroached with green grass; underneath it lays someone who shaped the lives of many: whom children have been named after; my sister had not been left behind. 

My grandma didn’t need a tombstone. What was its purpose? To illustrate her brief history, she only needed her name that is still alive for us to enjoy her works and deeds that is full of reminiscences. 

In retrospect, it is easy for us to see the society has changed in terms of our social values. 

The society has gone s dynamic that most of us rarely do we have time for our close relatives or even our most close ones- our grandparents back upcountry. We only think of them during special occasions like Easter and Christmas, but still have not enough time to spend and share with them. 

For instance, how many parents let their children stay with their grandparents if I may say so? Definitely, with the current times that have been accompanied with changes in our social values, there is actually none.

This has been under the pretext of having no time even the coaxing of the grandparents to let them have their children stay with them. 

Definitely there is no time for them having that chance of knowing them.

We have to begin today to associate with them to learn about them, our generations and above all their creativity of their minds to pass on our cultural values; not only for us but the young ones to marvel at the beauty of our diversified cultures.