Kenyan Television, Newspapers and Radio Stations Deserve a Pat on the Back
Kenya is a country of diverse communities and different ethnic groups. This large number of varying populace is served by a large number of media, most of which is self-regulatory. However, there is establsihed the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) which is tasked with the following tasks:
- Licensing Media Corporations in the country and other communication services such as ISP providers
- Management and oversight of the country's frequency spectrum
- Facilitating the growth and development of e-commerce, for example the Development of Konza City falls under the commission's mandate.
- Ensuring that communications equipment and gadgetry exported into the country meet the countries standards to avoid e-dumping.
- Protecting the consumer rights regarding goods sold in the the communications environment.
- Overseeing that media corporations in the country only engage in fair competition with each other.
Popular Media Channels in Kenya
Newspapers In Kenya
Radio Stations In Kenya
Television Stations In Kenya
Conduct of The Kenyan Media During the 2013 IEBC Presidential Elections
If the 2013 IEBC Presidential elections and campaign media coveraged was to analyzed, the international media, led by CNN, would go down the drain for the most biased and nonfactual coverage in the history of the elections. CNN for example had carried a TV news story that alleged Kenyans in the Riftvalley were arming themselves and practicing to go to war with machetes and other crude weapons. In other News Story, which CNN later apologized for, they alleged that Prime Minister Raila Odinga had vowed not to accept the results of the elections!
On the other hand, and unlike during the 2007/08 Kenya Presidential elections when a majority of the media houses in the country was charged with broadcasting polarized content that led to that years post-election violence, the 2013 IEBC Presidential elections has seen the country and the media houses go the other way and engage in self-regulation. Messages that might have caused tension were either ignored or broadcast in a way that did not raise tension to the television viewers and radio listeners. This has been lauded as a huge leap towards broadcast maturity and responsible utilization of the freedom of media accorded in Article 39 of the Kenyan Constitution.
The highlight of the role of the media in Kenya in fostering peace in the country was in fact reflected in the first and second presidential Debates which were aired live by most of the radio and TV stations in the country. The debates gave Kenyans the opportunity to witness their leaders engaging in peaceful and meaningful debates. National Prayers prior to the 4th of March vote-casting-day were also aired live by most of the media.
In conjunction with the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS), CCK's role in ensuring that citizen journalism did not air inflammatory statements cannot go unmentioned. It was largely in recognition of the power wielded by citizen journalism that these two agencies, which operate in two completely different spheres, set up a base to monitor what was being said in the social media and blogosphere. By the time of closing of the 2013 IEBC electoral process, the team was investigating twenty-five Facebook users and bloggers.
A divergent mention which is worth making at this point is that Royal Media Services which is owned by media tycoon S.K Macharia publicly declared that it would use its resources to support and campaign for Mr. Raila Odinga-a presidential contestant in the IEBC 2013 presidential elections. It is however also mentioning that apart from whichever S.K Macharia availed to Mr. Raila Odinga, the media corporation remained largely leveraged in its coverage of the election campaigns.
Future Projections of the Kenyan Electronic Media Broadcast
Other than giving Kenyans a change of government in which most of the older political cronies were ousted by little-known newcomers, the 2013 IEBC Presidential elections has served to prove that Kenyan media has come of age. The impartial and responsible media has won accolades with the Kenyan masses and the international community.
What we should expect now that the political embers are fizzling out is heightened appreciation of local content in the TV and radio stations. In fact, from the year 2011 CCK has been pushing for the inclusion of Kenyan content in the electronic media broadcast up to a certain percentage. This translates to more job opportunities to the country's talent.
The migration from analog to digital media transmission later this year is also expected to boost the growth of local content in the country.