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Standard Group CEO calls for professionalism during layoffs: The Standard

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Standard Group chief executive during an interview with Spice FM on Friday. [Bryan Amulyoto, Standard]

Standard Group chief executive Orlando Lyomu has said the ongoing retrenchment across media houses is a clear indication that the sector has been hit and that more needs to be done to cushion it.

Speaking during an interview with Spice FM on Friday, Orlando said even before the pandemic, the media industry had been on a slippery slope as a result of a drop in revenue and digital disruptions.
“The media industry has been on a slippery slope even before the Covid-19 pandemic as a result of digital disruptions,” he said.
He said the recent layoffs are tough decisions that have been taken by media house managers to save more people, adding that with the shrinking revenues, if nothing is done, a whole media house could go down.
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“It is a case of the ship going down yet you have a few lifeboats, you must make a decision either way,’ he said.
On a question of how some of the media houses have sent home their staff via night SMS, Orlando said no job loss is human, but called for professionalism while taking the decision.
“As managers, we have to make a decision to save more people because the ship is going down, but we should be professional and explain ourselves to those affected why it is them and not the other guy.”
He urged the government to support the industry, saying the media is not just about the headlines and the journalists, but it operates in a bigger ecosystem that supports many people.
The CEO said if the media industry dies, all the content producers will lose a living, something that will have a negative impact on the economy.
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Kenya Editors Guild Chairman Churchill Otieno urged the media house to bring onboard during the retrenchment period so that the public is aware of whatever is going on in the industry.
“The current situation where someone has been on TV for two or three years and all over sudden you don’t see him without being told what happened to them is unfair,” he said. 
The media industry has witnessed massive job losses since March this year with all employees across media houses forced to take pay cuts in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, Nation Media Group has announced its intention to lay off some of its staff following plans to reorganise the business model.
The announcement came just a week after both Mediamax Limited and Royal Media Services Limited fired dozens of journalists citing shrinking revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Standard Group is yet to send home any of its staff, but there are reports that plans are underway to downsize.
Minimise wastage
Orlando urged media owners to come together to eliminate waste and cut cost.
He cited the printing and distribution of newspapers where each media house is forced to meet its own cost when they can come together to minimise cost.
“There is no need of each media house having a printing press which only works for three to four hours when only one can churn out newspapers for all the media houses, or use one van to transport newspapers to various regions,” he said.  
Radio Africa group chairman Kiprono Kitony said unnecessary competition in the media has hindered the sector’s growth and led to a drop of revenue.
He called on media houses have a new approach to cut cost more so in areas such as newspaper distribution.
“Competition has hindered media growth for example in the print media, the four companies are forced to print their papers in Nairobi and arrange for their distribution countrywide when we can come together and cut cost,” he said.
Kitony also said there is a need for a unified academy to churn out competent journalists that are ready for the changing job market.

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The Guardian view on Covid-19 worldwide: on the march | Opinion

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“Most of the world sort of sat by and watched with almost a sense of detachment and bemusement,” said Helen Clark, appointed to investigate the World Health Organization’s handling of the pandemic. The former New Zealand prime minister was describing the early weeks of the outbreak, and the sense that coronavirus was a problem “over there”. The failure to recognise our interconnection created complacency even as the death toll rose.

It took three months for the first million people to fall sick – but only a week to record the last million of the nearly 13 million cases now reported worldwide. As England emerges from lockdown at an unwary pace, Covid-19 is accelerating globally. The WHO has reported a record surge of a quarter of a million cases in a single day. The death toll is over half a million people and rising fast.

Idlib, Syria’s last rebel-held province, has reported its first case: a frightening portent, given the desperate circumstances in which people are already living. On Thursday, the head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said new cases were up 24% on the continent in the previous week, with cases surging in South Africa, Kenya and other countries. India, now the world’s third worst-affected country, reported a record rise of 27,000 cases on Saturday, to over 800,000 – almost certainly far below the true level.

Australia and Spain have reimposed local lockdowns, and Hong Kong has shut schools again. But the economic, social and political costs of such measures are all the higher second time around. In Serbia, plans for a strict curfew were downgraded after sparking anti-government protests. Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, has said it cannot afford to shut down again despite rising deaths.

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So no one can afford to be complacent; the UK’s pandemic response should not be starting to “wind down”, as a No 10 insider reportedly said. Nor are endless lockdowns either desirable or sustainable. But we should not conclude that the worst is inescapable – rather, that effective measures, including the use of masks, distancing, and testing and tracing, are possible and make a vast difference to outcomes.

Vietnam has recorded no deaths and fewer than 400 cases, while the US has seen 3 million cases and more than 130,000 deaths, thanks not only to Donald Trump’s utter failure to prepare his country for coronavirus, but his reckless subsequent determination to push states into premature reopening. Infections are now surging in 41 states. On Friday, Florida recorded 11,433 new cases and saw its highest single day death rate, of 188.

In South America, Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has repeatedly trivialised the pandemic and defied guidelines even since becoming infected himself. His country has 1.8m cases. Peru, Chile and Mexico are also badly hit. But Uruguay and Paraguay, which border Brazil, have had fewer than 50 deaths between them.

Though in some countries the apparently low impact of coronavirus will reflect low levels of testing, the US shows that prosperity is far from the only determinant of success. Nonetheless, the difficulties of fighting the pandemic in overcrowded places with malnourished populations lacking basic sanitation or basic healthcare are obvious. Poorer nations will need support to deal with both the pandemic and its broader impact. Hunger and poverty are surging and could kill more people than Covid-19.

Leadership can’t come from the US, as it withdraws from the WHO and attempts to corner supplies. Finding agreement even within the European Union is proving hard. But coronavirus has shown us that “over there” cannot be separated from “over here”. For everyone’s sake, we must recognise and honour our ties.

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Kenya Airways to resume domestic flights from Wednesday – KBC

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Kenya Airways (KQ) will resume its domestic flights on Wednesday 15 July 2020, following the lifting of the restriction of movement in and out of Nairobi and Mombasa counties.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Through a press statement, the national carrier said that it has been working closely with the Government through the Ministry of Health and Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to implement a wide range of safety measures and protocols as they gear up for the resumption of passenger services.

The airline will fly two times daily to the coastal city of Mombasa and once daily to the lakeside city of Kisumu as it continues to review the option of increasing frequencies as demand picks.

KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka said that the airline’s utmost priority continues to be the health and safety of the passengers, crew, and staff.

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“I want to thank our customers for giving us the opportunity to serve them and for trusting us to get them to their different destinations safely. A special mention to our staff for their outstanding contribution in ensuring that our customers continue to be reunited with their loved ones across our network. As we prepare to operate under exceptional circumstances, we look forward to welcoming more of our guests onboard and we remain committed to offering world-class service with a delightful African touch” added Mr Kilavuka.

While onboard the aircraft, customers will be required to adhere to the safety measures and protocols in place.

The airline will continuously review the protocols in place and update these where necessary to continue being ahead of the curve when it comes to safety.

“I would like to assure the public that Kenya Airports Authority has put in place the recommended health and safety protocols and we are ready to reconnect with our airport’s users.” Alex Gitari, Ag. Managing Director, Kenya Airports Authority stated.

“These protocols will be evaluated and updated whenever necessary. Accordingly, we request passengers and airport users to familiarize themselves and strictly observe the new protocols to safeguard the health and safety of all airport users” he added.

The opening up of the country and resumption of domestic flights will contribute towards the recovery of Kenya’s economy, which is reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The resumption of domestic flights will add to the revival of domestic tourism that has recorded an all-time low. We will call upon Kenyans to take up opportunities to step out of their homes for a breath of fresh air and experiential get away from their homes” said Betty Radier, Chief Executive Officer – Kenya Tourism Board

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Wazito to go for younger players after kicking out under-performing big names – Nairobi News

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Wazito tycoon owner Ricardo Badoer has announced that the club has changed its transfer strategy and will be going for young talented players during this transfer window.

Badoer says he will no longer go for the big names as it were during the last transfer window but younger players who can propel the team to meet its target of bagging its maiden Kenyan Premier League title.

HUNGRY PLAYERS

“The plan is different now. We are looking to sign some good emerging players from other teams, these are young hungry players. We want players who want to play football for Wazito,” Badoer said on the club’s website.

“We are not going to sign high profile players this time around. There’s no point in signing big names that won’t deliver,” he added.

This comes after Wazito released 12 players last week citing under performance and the harsh effects of the deadly coronavirus.

Some of those released were players who made a name before joining the money bags more so during the January transfer window.

AXED PLAYERS

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Among the dropped players are Victor Ndinya, Teddy Osok, Derrick Otanga, Lloyd Wahome and goalkeepers Steve Njung’e and Kevin Omondi.

Non-Kenyan players Augustine Otu, Piscas Kirenge, Issioffu Bourahana and Paul Acquah were also axed while veteran striker Paul Kiongera left the club after negotiation to extend his contract which had ended in June hit a dead end.

British coach Stewart Hall also left the club on mutual consent after helping the club survive relegation.

Wazito are placed 13 on the KPL standings with 20 points after 23 rounds of matches as the league remains suspended due to coronavirus pandemic.

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