Stephen Letoo is a popular political news journalist working at the Royal Media Services. He has ample knowledge of political news coverage having been in the domain most of his illustrious career. Letoo can even be described as a strong character. Reporting political news is not an easy job, one may end up discouraging feathers of the political class and end up in problems. The public has at some point named him a partisan journalist but according to him, it arrives with the territory.
“ With politics, all these indictments of being pro-government or opposition arise. Unfortunately, it is how we are usuallly judged by our audiences. During elections, individuals associated me with the NASA coalition while my colleague Jackie Maribe was blamed of being pro-jubilee.
But our citizens are directed by contacts and calendar of events, it makes it difficult for them to get data since politicians brief trusted reporters always,” he told Kenyans.co.ke
The political journalist was born on 27th of June 1991.
The 29-year-old regarded Kabianga High School before joining the University of Nairobi to follow a Degree in Journalism.
In his more earlier years, he was in love with how news was being shown on the State broadcaster KBC & this sparked his love to pursue journalism and ultimately become a reporter. When he was still a student at Kabianga, he began the weekly assembly news bulletin dubbed ‘Kabianga 100.’
“ As a young boy, I could see many individuals visiting our home to watch TV. My father was a chief & he owned the only television in our village. I became an all-time fan and appreciated several KBC News reporters and news anchors.
Later in the years, Kanze Dena also entered the screens and I looked up to what she was doing. While at Kabianga High School, I started a weekly assembly news bulletin dubbed ‘Kabianga 100,’ this was interestingly the basis that later saw me rise to ground my first job at Kiss 100,” he said in an discussion with Kenyans.co.ke.
He began reporting at Radio Africa Group owned radio stations Kiss 100 and Classic 105 and also noted news for Campus Site.
Later on, he anchored a job at Royal Media Services owned station Citizen TV where he works to date apprising news on politics & politicians. This requires him to move in the inner circles of politicians & get them to trust him enough to give him a report. If he tells a political story that is not liked by politicians, the possibilities of getting denied a chance in parliament are high. It is also not easy to choose what to tell and what to leave out. Exposing some things may end up jeopardizing your job or even life. Politicians want you to register what will make them look good & not the negative news.
As a political reporter, he has once been attacked by plain-cloth HSU officers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). This was during the Miguna Miguna thrashing.
In the discussion with Kenyans.co.ke he revealed that sourcing for information was not a straightforward task. This & the fact that at times one is ripped between what to report and what to let go.
“ Sourcing for political content is slippery. If you don’t spend time with politicians, you relinquish it all. Most of the time you have to go out of your way and try riding out with politicians so that you can achieve the very exclusive kind of reports. This is usually expensive & the employer can not foot the bill for you.
Again, if you get the very specific information that can make you work a talking point, you are torn between what to inform and what you just have to let go. At times, you are the best one who has the information on the story that the MPs would not have to like out there. The moment you do it, they can efficiently come for you,” he said.
The current coronavirus pandemic has not discriminated who to attack and Stephen Letoo is the current Kenyan journalist to contract it. He has been on the forefront of protecting the Covid-19 pandemic news.
“ I did not have any signs and even currently I don’t have any signs. I am fine and I have my desire like before. You might even think that I am pretending.
I can’t trace and define how I got it but upon doing the tests at Nairobi Hospital, it turned out that I had contracted the virus,” he was cited by The Star.
Letoo is the son of a ex-chief in Narok county.
In 2019, he took to Instagram to present his wife Winnie Nadupoi and new-born son, Santino Leylan Letoo to the public.
“ Babies are like small suns that, in a magical way, bring warmth, happiness and glare into our lives…A baby is God’s belief that life should go on..They are the bridge to heaven..God dropped us Baby Santino Leylan Letoo @santinoleylan as a special agility, I give him to the world, as a sign of peace @winnienadupoi.”