Back to Africa Check

Kenyan media house Standard Group has not declared bankruptcy. Ignore fake ‘insolvency’ notice

IN SHORT: Since February 2024, Kenyan social media has been awash with false stories designed to turn the public against Standard Group, the publisher of Kenya's second largest newspaper.

The Standard Group, one of Kenya's largest news publishers, is in financial trouble and will have to lay off staff. This is according to what appears to be an internal memo from the group’s managing director.

The memo, which is circulating on social media and is dated 1 May 2024, reads: “This is a notice to the greater public that through a special resolution by the board of the Standard Group Ltd, a declaration of insolvency is thereby issued.”

In March, the Kenyan government announced the withdrawal of government advertising contracts from several media houses, including the Standard. It is believed that this was a punitive measure for media houses publishing harsh headlines against the government. The Standard was also the victim of a similar coordinated online attack in February.

The memo has been posted on Facebook here and here. It was also posted on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, here, here, here, here, here, here and here with the hashtag #StandardMediaDying.

But did the announcement of bankruptcy and redundancies come from the media company? We checked.


Notice is fake

We did an online search and discovered that no reputable media house had reported on the circulating memo, which would have been the case if it were authentic. 

Another red flag is that the notice was post-dated, which is not standard practice. It also claims to be from the “group managing director”, but is signed by Dr Julius Kangogo Kipngetich, the deputy chairperson of the board.

On 27 March, the Standard Group posted the memo on its official Facebook social media page with the word “fake” printed in red across it.

The media house subsequently published a statement titled: “Statement on the online attacks on the Standard Group PLC.”

Part of the statement reads: “These are malicious attacks, whose intention is to derail our unflinching commitment to the mission of journalism and the pursuit of the public interest.”

The leaked memo declaring insolvency is fake and should be disregarded.

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.