Journalist Ciru Muriuki has become the latest casualty through the revolving door of British broadcaster BBC’s newsroom in Nairobi. Muriuki who cut her teeth at NTV before joining K24 has today announced that she has been laid off by the BBC.
“Last year, they let the larger staff know that they wanted to take a different direction, to do a digital-first approach and as a result, some roles would be made redundant. Right now, I am an unemployed journalist. One of the reasons why I wanted to talk about this is because people think that there is some kind of shame in acknowledging that you’ve lost your job,” Muriuki said in a video today evening.
“This is a really tough economic time and people I know- friends that I love and respect- same thing happened to them from the same organization. I know people that have been retrenched or laid off from other larger organizations, from local organizations as well. This is something that is happening across the world,” she said.
She continued, citing examples of people who have never been employed but are succeeding in life as entrepreneurs, that the reason she wanted to talk about this was to show that there is life after losing a full-time job.
“I have been retrenched and I’m now fully throwing myself into content creation, and I hope to thrive there as well. So in the weeks moving forward, weekly, we’ll be talking about how to survive having lost your job or even though you’ve been unemployed and you’re trying to look for a job for the longest time, that’s something I also hope to be able to talk about. I feel like I have this platform for a reason and if I’m not using it to be useful and helpful, then I’m not really doing anything with it,” she explained.
Some 400 staff at BBC World Service have since November last year lost their jobs as part of a cost-cutting programme. The BBC announced last year that its international services needed to make savings of £28.5 million ($31 million) as part of wider reductions of £500 million, which unions blamed on the UK government.
The corporation said audience habits were changing and more people were accessing news online, which along with a freeze on BBC funding and increased operating costs meant a move to “digital-first” made financial sense.
Last week, journalist Ferdinand Omondi also announced that he had left the station. According to a post on his social media pages, the journalist has said he is departing BBC, a better journalist than he was when he was hired in 2015.
He added that he was excited about his next assignment.
“Today, I close this wonderful chapter of my life at the BBC after 8 years. I have grown, I have learned, and I have thrived. I leave with a grateful heart and fond memories. Storytelling is what I do best,” he said.
“And I’m excited for what the universe has next for me on my plate. My story continues,” Ferdinand tweeted on Tuesday.
Before joining the British broadcaster, Ferdinand an actor turned journalist was a senior Coast reporter for the Standard Media Group’s KTN.