Times Of London Bashed For ‘Oxford Graduate’ Headline On KQ Stowaway Story


A United Kingdom (UK) paper, Times of London, has been on the receiving end of Kenyans’ wrath for giving priority to the identity of a man who was almost hit by a body that fell from a Kenya Airways flight, rather than the real news.

In an article headlined ‘Sunbather nearly hit by a falling body is Oxford Graduate‘, the paper described the incidence of a stowaway case that happened last weekend.

However, critics felt that the headline was insensitive, while journalists and media professionals opined that the paper gave priority to trivial matter instead of concentrating on the real news.

Read: Man Involved In KQ Stowaway Incident Likely To Be JKIA Worker – London Police

Others who reacted to the matter said that the paper intruded into the resident’s right to privacy, who was traumatised by the incidence.

Netizens from other parts of the world joined Kenyans in condemning the headline, that seemingly went overboard.

According to Kenyan investigative journalist John Allan Namu, the paper ignored the fact that life that was lost.

“Of course, to this paper, a falling body might as well have been a falling rock,” he said.

Read: Unceremonious Exit For KQ COO Jan de Vegt As Post Is Scrapped

According to Zoe Flood, a journalist, the story depicts British elite’s obsession with itself -and a “very clear perceived hierarchy both domestically and internationally”

“The poor sunbather should be left alone + his background is irrelevant. What the British press isn’t paying attention to, mostly, is what drove that person to stow away, and HOW they did it – on a major international airline, at a major international airport. That’s key,” she tweeted.


Here are some reactions:-

“What a completely (redacted) headline. Surely there were multiple points where people should have gone, ‘actually, this isn’t relevant at all’,”Paul Mitchell tweeted.

Speaking to the BBC, the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) noted that investigators were using the fingerprints to identify the body in the incident that has since raised security concerns at JKIA.

Additionally, the investigators are reviewing all CCTV coverage on flight KQ100 over the 24 hours before the departure of the plane. All the staff who also came in contact with the plane are being questioned.

“We wish to reiterate that safety and security is our priority and the Multi-agency Security Committee will ensure that all our processes and procedures are adhered to,” said the airports’ manager.

Read also: KQ Flight Forced To Make Emergency Landing In Mombasa After System Glitch

“Due to a large amount of data to be analysed, we request your patience to enable due diligence to be followed.”

A post-mortem examination would be carried out and the death was not being treated as suspicious, UK police said.

According to the London police, they believe that the victim fell from the landing gear compartment of the plane – where a bag, water and some food were found when it landed.

The discovery of the stowaway who started his journey from the JKIA has raised questions about the effectiveness of security checks.

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email


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