Digital migration now a household name in Kenya has triggered diverse reactions from individuals countrywide. The back and forth between communications Authority and Media houses has resulted to unprofessional behavior and now a media ‘blackout’.
Activist Okiya Omtata among other individuals with exceptional interests have served Communications Authority of Kenya law suit papers following the alleged switch off of analogue signals belonging to the three leading media houses; Nation Media, Standard Group and Royal Media Services on Saturday afternoon. Citizens are no longer watching television, Cord’s Okoa Kenya secretariat recently called off the launch of their referendum draft bill with the same cry of media blackout.
This is where Kenyans go wrong, crying foul all day. We do not have to sulk at Communications Authority, sit behind screens and curse media houses for switching their own digital signals like it has been alleged. Life has to move on whether it feels like the VoK days or not.
As a matter of fact, time has blessed the world with multiple platforms of communication. Yes, I count that a blessing each wake because I no longer have to wait for Kenya Broadcast Corporation to open shop, wait for my dad to read the newspaper so I can get a glimpse of what is happening around me . With only five megabytes, I can comfortably peruse through national and international platforms to feed my curiosity.
Back to the Okoa Kenya referendum bill launch. Cord Leader Raila Odinga has severally blamed the government for switching off media terming it the return of the dark days. Forget the breach of conditions and the blame game going round, the digital decorders hold over 50 channels referring to the least on this one. The truth is that analogue signal switch off has been pending since Dec 2012. Second, the government didn’t switch off the three cry babies .They switched themselves off from digital distributors like Signet, GoTV and StarTimes, they also withdrew themselves from Dstv and Zuku for no reason whatsoever. CORD should not mislead Kenyans over Digital Migration.
Maybe this is still in the spirit of opposition but a line should be drawn here; Kenyans need to know the digital migration has an international deadline and at the end of the day the switch off is meant to be. Change is not easy for man to adjust to no matter the situation and digital migration is just one of them. Ready or not, the digital migration is here and Kenya just took off with the rest of the world. We are looking at more jobs in the media industry, improved television content and a more enlightened society.
How cord could not launch the bill in the name of media blackout is exceptionally hilarious. The media houses experiencing the ‘blackout’ have newspapers out there, they own radio stations that reach more people than the affected television channels with this, Cord should stop pretending to be unaware of online platforms that reach a big number of voices of reason. Kenyans should save themselves from being fooled and forced to politicize the issue that is very clear and evident.
The government has been said to be curtailing the media freedom by switching off analogue signals which the opposition also claims to roll back all the democratic gains made by Kenyans since independence.
If Kenya was in that big a crisis to be ‘okolewad’ (okoa kenya ), the political party would not blame the failure to roll out the campaign on the shut of media houses. Using the ‘blackout’ as scape goat only shows focus loss on the party’s initial motive and even worse their effort to derail Kenyans’ thinking on digital migration.