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State urged to nurture and regulate bloggers

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By THOMAS RAJULA
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The government has been advised to tap into the country’s vibrant social media culture to empower the youth and regulate the industry.

Educationalist and founder of Mount Kenya University (MKU) Simon Gicharu, advised the youth ministry to tap into the skills of bloggers by establishing an institute of bloggers to regulate and empower them at the same time.

Bloggers are people who post regular commentaries on topical and other issues on the Internet in web logs, or blogs in short.

The blogging culture, previously restricted to individual websites, has now permeated social media where it is rampant and pervasive.

Speaking on Friday during the university’s 15th graduation ceremony, Mr Gicharu, who is also the chairman of the MKU board of directors, said he was saddened to see bloggers misused, especially by politicians and businessmen.

“Once they accomplish the task, normally only for a short duration, they are left to their own devices. On being abandoned by such masters, we have seen cases where they turn their guns on the very people who used and dumped them. Some have been arrested as a result,” said Prof Gicharu.

Popular blogger Cyprian Nyakundi is among those who have fallen afoul of the law on several occasions. He currently has pending court cases.

Mr Gicharu noted that, with the digital shift in the global marketplace, it would be prudent if the government set aside money in the next financial year to create an institute to regulate and advance the interests of bloggers.

He suggested that their communication skills be used to drive the government’s messaging as a public relations initiative, thus spreading knowledge about State projects and earning the youth an honest income.

The graduation’s theme was “Promotion of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development”.

Mr Gicharu cautioned young people against the allure of quick riches. Saying MKU has taken 15 years to get to where it is, he urged graduands to grow wealth at a realistic pace to avoid having to look over their shoulders when questions are raised about their assets.

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