Kenya has a new media bill and it is not good for journalists.
Organizations and individuals face significant fines for breaching a code of conduct that stipulates a need for accuracy, fairness, independence and integrity. While that code sounds good in principle, the government itself will control who sits on a tribunal to oversee the code.
Journalists believe the bill was in response to their coverage earlier this year of hefty raises MPs awarded themselves. Legislators are among the highest-paid in the world, earning about $15,000 a month. A journalist earns about $200 a month, on average, while the typical Kenyan earns about $1,500 a year.
The bill passed Thursday without amendments. The Standard newspaper asserts it will suffocate investigative journalism in the country.
Upworthy is in the spotlight lately for sporting viral-worthy content, in particular the catchy headlines for its catchy videos. It notes it writes about 25 of them for each post, mainly to see what hooks a quick audience. Its reach totals 87 million visitors monthly, up from a mere five million at the start of the year.
But the site has decided to share some insights, and mount some defences, in an Upworthy Insider post on what goes viral. It isn't the headline writing. It's the quality of content and the fact people share. While clickbait works initially, it isn't sustainable. Upworthy says its curators comb through countless videos to select five to seven each week to share. That's very selective curation.
Tracie Powell, writing for the Columbia Journalism Review, examines the consumer confusion about native advertising/sponsored content. This week the U.S. Federal Trade Commission held a workshop to look at whether this phenomenon might be posing a problem for consumers in distinguishing advertising from editorial content.
Powell writes that the researchers told the workshop what the publishers didn't: That, yes, consumers aren't typically aware of paid content, that they skip past the labels on the material, and that in their minds a story is a story if it looks like a story.