Kenya’s Trade Cabinet Secretary, Moses Kuria, has issued a threat to reduce government advertising and publicity on the Nation Media Group (NMG) due to its recent critical coverage that has embarrassed the Kenya Kwanza government. Speaking at an event, Kuria called on NMG to clarify whether it was acting as a watchdog or aligning itself with the opposition. He further warned government agencies against advertising with NMG, implying that those who do so may risk losing their jobs.
Kuria’s statements imply that the government will cease providing advertising opportunities to NMG and urged government departments to refrain from placing advertisements with the media company. However, he clarified that other types of advertisements, such as those for auctioneers and funeral announcements, would not be affected.
If Kuria’s threats materialize, it could significantly impact media outlets, as government advertisements are a significant source of revenue for many of them. NMG had recently aired an exposé alleging the misappropriation of around Ksh6 billion by the Ministries of Trade and Agriculture, led by CS Mithika Linturi, in an oil scandal.
As of now, the Media Council of Kenya (MCK), Media Owners Association, and Editors Guild have not released any statements regarding Kuria’s remarks.
Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has warned the Nation Media Group that the government may reduce its advertising and publicity on the platform in response to critical stories published by NMG. He has called into question the media company’s role and warned government agencies against advertising with NMG. The impact of such a move would be significant for media outlets, given the substantial revenue generated from government advertisements. The situation has yet to be addressed by relevant media organizations.