Kenya Columnists Quit Nation Media Group Over 'Meddling'
Eight leading newspaper columnists have resigned from Kenya's largest media group, citing a "loss in editorial independence". In a joint statement, they suggested government interference in the Nation Media Group (NMG). NMG said it regretted the columnists' position and it believed in "independence, fairness and balance".
The resignations come at a time when the government has been accused of cracking down on the media. In January, several of Kenya's most popular TV stations, including NMG-owned NTV, were pulled off-air for their planned coverage of the mock presidential inauguration of opposition leader Raila Odinga.
In their resignation letter, the columnists protested against the firing of managing editor, Denis Galava, over an editorial critical of Uhuru Kenyatta's presidency, and the refusal to renew the contract of popular cartoonist Gado, who had previously taken aim at the government. The resignations were clearly coordinated, and bring into question the editorial independence of NMG, including the Daily Nation, Kenya's biggest circulating newspaper, reports the BBC's Ferdinand Omondi from the capital, Nairobi.