THE job of newspapers is not just to provide information but also to provoke debate. Many Kenyans were annoyed yesterday when the Star published a small photograph of a fully clothed man and woman sitting on a bench in Muliro Gardens in Kakamega. It was suggested that they could have been having sex together although this was not certain from the photo.
A larger photo showed two policemen chatting with the same man and woman. According to the Star story, the couple were not charged and sex in broad daylight is rampant in the park.
The two photos needed to be seen together. That second small photo (which we emphasise contained no nudity) made the police's complicity self-evident. Sometimes it is too easy to blame the messenger for the message.
All over Kenya people are making out in public places - whether on the beach in Mombasa, Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi, or Sosiani roundabout in Eldoret.
Why is this tolerated by the police? Why does it upset people if it is exposed in a non-explicit photo? What are the risks of HIV transmission? Should we ignore it?
These are the questions that we should debate. We should not just scream it is wrong.
The Star has appointed an independent Public Editor to critically examine the paper's editorial decisions. If you wish to complain about the Muliro Gardens photo, send your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org