Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kenyans say scandal-plagued government failing them amid corruption, poverty, tensions

This article describes the ongoing battle in Kenya over their recent power change in government. The new coalition government that has been in power since the controversial elections a year ago, has been accused of scandal and corruption.

This news article begins with a summary lead quite appropriate to its content. This lead brought across the main point that things in Kenya are simply not okay. While millions are dying of hunger, politicians are inciting violence, participating in financial scandals, and pointing the finger at everyone but themselves.

This article is well organized. The second paragraph after the lead provides clarification of the trouble in Kenya including background information on their government. The third paragraph show the problems that could incur from this corrupted government.

The rest of the article is dedicated to testimony and further expansion on Kenyan government and poverty. There is a wide variety of sources including: local Kenyans, an African government spokesman, an anti-corruption advocate, an American ambassador to Kenya, and the head of the Nairobi-based Africa Society for Open Governance. This large range of sources provides for a well rounded story with little bias.

This article is, however, a bit one sided when it comes to portraying the Kenyan government. I believe that it is impossible to unbiased support both for and against the government in this situation. After all the publicized violence and corruption after the elections last year, any reader or writer would hold the Kenyan government up to higher scrutiny.

The article provided a good amount of factual information while tying in powerful quotes from local Kenyans. There was both intellectual and emotional intrigue throughout the article.


  1. Well said. This article did introduce with a summary lead, but I could also see the first paragraph as a feature lead because it uses a nutgraph in paragraph 2. But the point is that the lead is there, and it sets the tone for the rest of the article.

    This writer did a nice job of speaking to a variety of sources. She really went out on a limb to talk to local civilians and public officials speaking for and against the Kenyan government. However, like you mentioned, the article seems biased because the Kenyan government's voice doesn't stand as strongly as the witnesses of the atrocities that ensue in Kenya. The one quote by Mutua does trail off into the distance and would be better off if it was paraphrased. But that would make the quote lose it's direct impact.

    The rest of the story spells out like a list of grievances that people have against the Kenyan government, but the article flows from one topic to the next. The writer does a nice job of getting interesting opinions from all kinds of sources. Her very last source ends the story on a powerful and sorrowful note, as the woman recalls being a victim of rape. This article definitely tugs at the human interest.

    Your analysis was very thorough, and you hammered out all the main points. Very good observations and critique of this article.

  2. To clarify, the article did not say "millions" are dying. It said that "millions are at risk of hunger." Also, I find it sad that the Tribune now relies on the AP for articles about Africa. At one point, the Tribune was known for its foreign bureaus.

    By the way, start including article links with your posts.