Nation Media Group Reports Cyber Bullies To DCI

NMG expressed hope that the DCI would crack down on the propagators of fake news targeting the regional media house, having been on the receiving end of propaganda in recent weeks.

Nation Media Group Reports Cyber Bullies To DCI
A photo of Nation Media Group. /BUSINESS TODAY

The Nation Media Group (NMG) has announced that it has escalated the matter of intimidation and cyberbullying in recent weeks with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), owing to an extensive exposé it has been running which called out the government over some of its shortfalls.

In a statement released on Friday, February 9, the media house located along Kimathi Street revealed that it has not been able to engage parties unhappy with its journalism model in line with upholding democracy in the country.

NMG expressed hope that the DCI would crack down on the propagators of fake news targeting the regional media house, having been on the receiving end of propaganda in recent weeks.

"The current online guerilla war, however, has not afforded NMG a chance to engage the seemingly aggrieved parties in a civil manner consistent with the basic tenets of a democratic and free society.

Officers stand guard at the entrance of DCI headquarters along Kiambu Road. /NATIONAL POLICE SERVICE

"NMG as a firm believer in the rule of law, has reported these incidents to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), in addition to filing complaints with X. It is our hope that DCI will investigate and bring to justice the purveyors of these false and malicious narratives," stated NMG in part.

The media house also raised the issue with X, under Elon Musk, with evidence that the social media platform is being used to spread hate and lies against a legitimate media organisation.

In exposing instances of fake news being targeted regarding the operations of the media house, NMG cited a fake letter that announced redundancies and the #RIPNationMedia which was used to cyberbully the media house on X.

The letter which was manipulated to almost resemble a generic one had claimed that NMG would declare close to 600 employees redundant by April 2024.

"They then enlisted their surrogates to spread a full-blown hate campaign featuring video clips of senior officials in the current government who have made public pronouncements undermining press freedom. It is easy to see through this cowardly scheme," added the statement.

According to NMG, the timing of the incidents was questionable given that it had been running a series of exposes that detailed the sufferings of Kenyans seeking government services including healthcare. However, it stressed that the coverage was not in any way ill-intended adding that the journalists who undertook the coverage adhered to all journalistic standards.

The media house also revealed how it was targeted in another smear campaign through a fake letter posted on X warning Kenyans against buying its newspapers over health risks.

While the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) would later disown the letter, the media house went on to reveal that one of its operation centres was invaded by individuals claiming to be officials from KEBS.

"On Tuesday this week, a fake letter was posted on X claiming that the ink used to publish Nation newspapers could have adverse health effects on our readers. The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) disowned the statement on its official X account, but not before it had been shared many times by online social media users.

"Curiously, some individuals claiming to be KEBS officials visited the Nation printing press along Mombasa Road, ostensibly “to inspect the quality of our ink.”," NMG added.

The media house then termed the sustained barrage of baseless attacks against it as an institution as well as its journalists as baffling as it is unacceptable.

"NMG has always opened itself to scrutiny and embraced criticism of its journalism. Nation is, indeed, the only media house in Kenya that has employed an ombudsman; a Public Editor who directly receives and publishes feedback, complaints and criticisms from our audiences.

"Where we have fallen short of our high standards, we have not hesitated to publish clarifications, corrections and apologies as the situation has demanded," the statement continued.

NMG indicated that the Media Council of Kenya has also an agency that parties aggrieved by its coverage have engaged to adjudicate their cases. Further, courts of law have over the years made landmark decisions for and against NMG's journalism, a matter NMG proved that there is no shortage of avenues to address grievances against the media house and its publications.

An image of NTV studios. /FILE