Kenya’s The Nation will not unpublish news stories unless there is “factual misrepresentation,” the newspaper’s public editor Peter Mwaura explained.
A woman he referred to as Eleanor had asked The Nation to delete a story about her “storming the church to stop her husband marrying another woman,” arguing “she has moved on” and wants the story to go away. Mwaura noted that “when you google Eleanor’s real name the story comes up.” He asked readers what they thought about her request and “nearly 58%” said the newspaper shouldn’t delete her story.
The Nation‘s digital managing editor, Churchill Otieno, told Mwuara the newspaper’s policy is: “We take it that a story only gets published where there’s public interest, and if such a story has evolved then the same public needs to be informed accordingly,” via an update or follow-up.
The Nation is a top circulating newspaper in Kenya based in Nairobi.
Mwuara agreed, concluding: “I find nothing in the NMG [parent company Nation Media Group] editorial policy or guidelines, or in Kenyan laws, or in journalism best practices, that would justify removing the story. So, sorry Eleanor, I’m not recommending a takedown.”
iMediaEthics wrote in 2016 when Mwaura responded to a complaint alleging The Nation asked police to pay journalists to cover up a story; a freelance cameraman had tried to get the bribe.
Mwaura was appointed the first public editor for the Nation Media Group in 2015. “He will operate independently and shall be the readers’ representative, handling complaints on accuracy, fairness, balance and ethical issues in news-gathering and presentation,” The Nation said in a story at the time.