UPDATE: I’ve revised the list of good Kenyan tweet accounts below and turned them into “lists” that you can subscribe to here: https://twitter.com/NN_Lab/lists

The Networked News Lab is getting started in 2013 by looking at how journalists are connecting with social media in Kenya.

In preparation for the work, I’ve done a bit of research to put together a list of the essential social media for journalists in Kenya. And by research, I mean that I asked a few people that I trust and did quite a lot of surfing on the web. I’m posting that list here in hope that people will comment and make suggestions for how it can be improved.

A sub-heading

I initially started out with the intention of creating a “Top 10,” but I realized in the process that Top 10 lists are horribly elitist. They give you a very narrow view of the social media world in Kenya. And so I’ve created three lists. The first list includes journalists who are using social media in interesting ways. The second is what I’m calling – perhaps controversially – “mainstream.” Finally, there’s a list of what I’m calling “activist and alternative” blogs.

In the meantime, I do have a couple of observations to share.

I’ve also intentionally excluded a few groups. I didn’t include any politicians, though some maintain blogs, FB pages and Twitter streams. I figure anyone can select the politicians they want to follow. I’ve also not included any of the tech blogs, which are some of the most prominent blogs in Kenya. Still, I feel they are not necessarily essential to journalists. There are also lots of creative and intellectual blogs that – interesting though they may be – I wasn’t sure could be considered essential for journalists either. Perhaps I’ll add this list anyways.

  1. i like to number my stuff
  2. i do it because it gets things organized
  3. and organization is one of the best ways you can articulate your ideas or processes

Another Sub-heading

I’m also working on a list of essential pan-African websites for Kenyan journalists – like Pambazuka, AllAfrica, Africa is a Country – and will share that one in an update too. The truth is that I left that list in a notebook at home.

THIS IS NOT A FINISHED PROJECT, SO PLEASE DON’T BE OFFENDED YET BY OVERSIGHTS, MISTAKES OR OMISSIONS. The journalists of the Networked News Lab are going to look through this list tomorrow, and I’ll update this post later with a final list, including details on why each has gotten included on the list. Also very much hoping that public feedback will improve this, which is why I’m posting this as a draft. So please let me know.

In the meantime, I do have a couple of observations to share.

  • Women are underrepresented. This may be partly a result of the haphazard  way I’ve put this list together, but I doubt that it is entirely a feature of prejudices purely in my network. Folks, this is a serious problem.
  • I couldn’t find a single blog, FB page or twitter account based outside of Nairobi. I’d like to resolve this issue, but I also suspect that even my best efforts will not turn up many.
  • The activist/alternative blogs are almost entirely organizations, and most (though not all) have benefited from some form of international funding. I actually feel that this is a testament to the importance of international funding for ‘voice’, but seen another way, you might also raise questions about who is setting the alternative agenda.
  • And why isn’t someone aggregating these alternative blogs? Seems like a missed opportunity.

Kenyan Journalists Using Social Media

Name Blog/FB page Twitter
Charles Obbo www.nakedchiefs.com @cobbo3
Anne Soy Mwendia www.annesoy.blogspot.com/  @annesoy
Media Madness www.mm.co.ke/ @mediamk
Larry Asego Larry’s FB page @larryasego
Jeff Koinange Jeff’s FB page @KoinangeJeff
James Smart James’ FB page @jamessmat
Laura Walubengo @lwalubengo
Larry Madowo www.larrymadowo.co.ke/ @LarryMadowo
Dennis Itumbi www.dennisitumbi.com/ @oleitumbi

Mainstream Bloggers

Blog name URL Key individual Twitter
Kenya Political Kenyapolitical.blogspot.com ?
Mental Aerobatics mentalaerobatics.com Daudi Were @mentalacrobatic
Cold Tusker coldtusker.blogspot.com ? @coldtusker
Afromusing Afromusing.com Juliana Rotich @afromusing
Gathara’s World gathara.blogspot.com Patrick Gathara @gathara
All Things Kenya http://tmboya.wordpress.com Tom Mboya @tommboya
Thinker’s Room www.thinkersroom.com/blog/ ? @roomthinker
John Githongo johngithongo.wordpress.com/ John Githongo @johngithongo
White African whiteafrican.com/ Erik Hersman @whiteafrican
Global Voices globalvoicesonline.org/author/ndesanjo-macha/ Ndesanjo Macha @ndesanjo

Activist and Alternative blogs

Blog name URL Key individual Twitter
Mavulture mavulture.com/ Boniface Mwangi @bonifacemwangi
Mars Group Kenya www.marsgroupkenya.org/ Jayne Mati @marsgroupkenya
icckenya www.icckenya.org/ Tom Maliti
Ni Sisi www.nisisikenya.com/en/weblog/ John Githongo, Tom Mboya
Identity Kenya www.identitykenya.com/ Denis Nzioka @denisnzioka
Mzalendo info.mzalendo.com/ Ory Okolloh @mzalendowatch
Generation Kenya generationkenya.co.ke ? @genkenya
Voice of Kibera blog.voiceofkibera.org Kepha Ngito @ngitok, @mapkibera
Wamburuburu wambururu.wordpress.com James the matatu driver
Story Moja www.storymojaafrica.wordpress.com/ @storymoja
Ghetto Mirror ghettomirror.wordpress.com ? @theghettomirror, but not active