Stella Gesare Oigo
FEATURED AUTHOR PROFILE
What is your current position, beat or area of expertise?
I currently work for the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, headquartered in Nairobi, as a producer.
What brought you to journalism?
My journalism career started back in 1997 in high school. Having been raised up in a remote village in Western Kenya, access to information was a big deal. In fact, there was only one family that owned a television set in the whole neighborhood.
We would gather together in the evening to watch the news. My turning point was during year of numerous tribal clashes, and many people died. This idea of starting a journalism class in my school was born. With the help of my teachers we started a publication with an aim of advocating for peace. The first publication was sold even to other neighboring schools and was a big success.
What was the most memorable story covered?
My most memorable story was when I did a story in 2007 about Heroes of the Nation, a children's home in Kenya's biggest slum named . The children were orphans and were living in very cramped, tiny rooms with no food. What captured my heart was the founder's determination to help this children and give them the parental love that they have never had.
After airing the story on KBC the response from well wishers was so amazing. Everyone wanted to help. A Chinese company based in Nairobi gave them a very decent home. As of this writing, Heroes of the Nation is one of the best children homes in Kenya with a total of 500 children based in Nyahururu. It feels good to know that you played a role in helping these little angels. The power of media!!!!
What change (or changes) have you seen in your career that has the most impact, positive or negative?
A lot has changed in the journalism industry in just the past few years in Kenya. Recently the government passed a media law which asks the following:
(a) Who should define the role of the press?
(b) How much control may the state exercise over the press? and
(c) What accepted methods and instruments of control should the state adopt?
The new law argues that state interest in the control of the press has been achieved through (a) determining how the press is to perform its role, and (b) by becoming part of the press (through ownership) and participating in defining its role.
In Kenya, several legal and administrative instruments exist for controlling the press, which are to be found in public, private, criminal, commercial, and administrative legal processes. This state of affairs has not always permitted of smooth government-press relations irrespective of the legitimacy and justifiability of state action against the media.
It suggests the establishment of a representative institution for canvassing various interests bearing on the performance and conduct of the press, granting and guaranteeing the right to a hearing before a tribunal before any curbs on the press are imposed, and the right of the press to appeal in the event of state action against it.
All this have been efforts to muzzle the media, and hence as a journalist I am always scared of speaking the truth especially on issues concerning government.
This law is already in effect.