5 Powerful Journalists Setting Kenya's Agenda This Election Season

  • From left is Mutuma Mathiu (NMG), Joe Ageyo(NMG), Linus Kaikai(RMS), and Ochieng Rapuro(Standard Group).
    From left is Mutuma Mathiu (NMG), Joe Ageyo(NMG), Linus Kaikai(RMS), and Ochieng Rapuro(Standard Group).
  • As Kenya readies to make a decision in the August 9, General Election, the media is no doubt a powerful tool that influences public opinion by setting the country's agenda. 

    The decisions are determined by powerful figures behind the screens who call shots on what consumers should have, and how the news coverage is conducted. 

    Some of these faces at the decision desk have risen through ranks to become public figures in their own right. Kenyans.co.ke looks at five of those individuals.

    Mutuma Mathiu 

    Mathiu is the Editor-in-Chief of Nation Media Group (NMG). He is tasked with providing effective strategic editorial stewardship straddling journalism, commercial, technology and stakeholder management. 

    File image of NMG's Editorial Director Mutuma Mathiu.
    File image of NMG's Editorial Director Mutuma Mathiu.
    Twitter

    He has kept Kenyans engaged with his thought-provoking opinion pieces on matters of good governance, social and economic matters and a gamut of other issues.

    In a gazette notice dated May 3, 2019, President Uhuru Kenyatta named Mathiu the new chairperson of the Kenya Copyright Board for three years.

    Joe Ageyo

    Ageyo has climbed unforeseen ladders to become a renowned media manager. He is currently the Editorial Director, NMG Broadcast.

    He is tasked with participating in the development and execution of the NMG's editorial strategy as well as heading the editorial functions of the company's broadcast operations across multimedia platforms.

     A file image of Outgoing RMS editorial Director Joe Ageyo
    A file image of Outgoing RMS editorial Director Joe Ageyo
    File

    He holds an MSc in Environmental Governance from the University of Manchester. The veteran journalist joined Royal Media Services (RMS) in 2018 as the company was restructuring following the exit of his predecessor and now Cabinet Secretary for Lands, Farida Karoney.

    Linus Kakai 

    Linus Joe Kaikai is a Kenyan award-winning journalist currently working as Editorial Director at RMS. 

    Before his current role, he had worked at the same company as Director of Strategy and Innovations. He was promoted to the current after Ageyo left the station.

    Citizen TV Director of innovation and Strategy Linus Kaikai on November 15, 2019.
    Citizen TV Director of innovation and Strategy Linus Kaikai on November 15, 2019.
    Instagram

    Following the daring swearing-in of Azimio La Umjo presidential candidate Raila Odinga as people's president in January 2018, Kaikai became among most wanted scribes in the country over a statement he issued as the Kenya Editors Guild chairman, accusing the government of muzzling the media.

    Together with CNN correspondent Larry Madowo, they were actively involved in news production as Odinga was sworn in.

    Ochieng' Rapuro

    Rapuro is one of the senior journalists in the country shaping agenda in the media industry. He joined the Standard Group in 2019 as the Editor-in-Chief, taking over from Joe Odindo who resigned after his contact expired.

    Ochieng Rapuro, Editor-in-Chief, Standard Group
    Ochieng Rapuro, Editor-in-Chief, Standard Group

    As the Editor-in-Chief, Rapuro is the overall head of the transformation project targeted at achieving the necessary reinvention of the company.

    Churchill Otieno 

    Otieno is the President of Kenya Editors Guild and doubles as the Head of News and Managing Editor, Nation Africa. 

    Otieno had served as the Head of Development and Learning at the company. He is currently tasked with leading the news team with the responsibility of ensuring appropriate content is provided to all platforms.

    As President of Editors' Guild, he organised and managed the steering committee of editors from various media houses to ensure that all aspiring politicians get equitable coverage during campaigns an debates.

    Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) president Churchill Otieno at a luncheon in Nairobi on May 21, 2019.
    Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) president Churchill Otieno speaking at a luncheon in Nairobi on May 21, 2019.
    Daily Nation