Journalism and its effects on the Kenyan society
It is very difficult to imagine a situation when Kenyans will wake up one day and find that there is no radio, newspaper and television channel or internet news content. The mass media has become part and parcel of Kenyans lives to the extent that at least each and every newspaper in the country has its great share of sales. People stream to newsstands every morning to get a glimpse of the headlines in The Daily Nation, Taifa Leo and Business Daily newspapers owned by the Nation Media Group, The Standard by Standard Media Group and the Star and The People Daily. Those subscribed to mobile phones breaking news services are ever abreast of what is taking place both locally and across the globe. The question any person visiting Kenya for the first time would ask themselves is, what role does the media, especially journalism play in Kenyans’ lives? This is a very critical question and can be answered in two ways: One, until August 4, 2010 when Kenyans passed a new Constitution, it was treason for any ‘ordinary citizen’ to get ‘classified information’. Kenyans, including senior Government officials had to rely on the media for whatever was going around in the government circles. One particular example was during the Moi (President Daniel arap Moi) era when Kenyans would never miss the 1 Pm news on the then Voice of Kenya (later Kenya Broadcasting Corporation – KBC) radio. President Moi would announce all major changes in his government using the State (Public) radio. Any minister, Permanent Secretary or provincial commissioner would never dare miss the bulletin. As a result, Kenyans became associated with the radio.
But the following morning, they would rush to newsstands to buy newspapers for comprehensive coverage of the same. But main contributors to the culture of relying on journalism for ‘juicy’ news were the then Nairobi Law, Financial Times, Weekly Review magazines (all defunct) the People Weekly which...
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