Newspapers should only sell correct and useful information

Friday March 3 2017

People read the 'Saturday Nation' in Kisii. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

People read the 'Saturday Nation' in Kisii. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PHILIP OCHIENG
More by this Author

As the pundits tell us, specific intelligence is the nature-given average ability to learn possessed by a whole species. That is why it is called specific, namely, to describe a collective ability. Yet among human beings – our planet’s most intelligent species – that ability differs from individual to individual.

In other words, intelligence can also be defined as the speed at which an individual can learn from an incident or from a direct teaching – although, among humans, a teaching is the outcome of what a group of human beings have learned together from their history.

Employment in an English-language medium, you depend precariously on your supposed knowledge of England’s tongue, a language our nationalists advisedly adopted for our national purposes because almost none of our tribal languages could have done any justice to non-speakers of it.

In a situation of ethnic suspicions, it would have strengthened tribalism, which is one of the Third World’s banes. I say “almost” because Swahili was also equally well-placed to serve that purpose, although Swahili – a Bantu tongue – would originally have disabled such non-Bantu speakers as my Luo ethnic people.

MASTER SWAHILI

I say “originally” because, thanks to existential needs, Luo individuals have learned to master Swahili with the same gusto as they once mastered English, namely, for its commercial significance and for its situational ability to unite our educated leaders into pursuing a single policy for all our ethnic, gender, racial and sectarian groups.

But the question stands out like Kilindini. How intelligent are you when – although you have been warned a myriad of times here and elsewhere against the verb “to hot up”, you insist on forcing it down the throats of all those uninsured readers of yours? I ask because natural selection is known for its economic strictures.

The environment does not produce in a species any ability as important as learning – both individually and socially – unless that ability has become necessary (where the adjective “necessary” has no moral significance, but describes only that which the environment has made inevitable for the nonce for all the species inhabiting it).

THE PURPOSE

Evolutionists tell us that use – especially collective and mutually assisting use – is the purpose of all specific learning. Thus, if learning were a central part of the programmes of our newspapers, they bear in mind all the time the fact that correct and useful information is what official Kenya has licensed our newspapers and other media to sell.

That is why you are duty-bound to sell only information that is objectively correct, ethically inspiring and spiritually uplifting – all in a manner which can socially unite the people of Kenya into a single mutually assisting nation. That, I think, is why we need a Ministry of National Cohesion.

After a myriad of nearly disastrous occasions, all caused by the cancer of negative tribalism, Kenya’s newspapers would by now know things do not simply “hot up” by themselves. As we learned from a headline on page 4 of The Standard of February 28, they are also “heated up”.

[email protected]