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Critique Of Kenyan Tv Industry Essay

970 words - 4 pages

The modern media in Kenya was started by the Missionaries and the British settlers. The early examples included the Taveta Chronicle which was published by Rev. Robert Stegal of the Church Missionary Society in 1895. It was circulated among Europeans and interested persons in England. It was later followed in 1899 by the Leader of the British East Africa Company and Uganda Mail which was published in Mombasa. The basic objective of these papers was to provide information for the missionaries and settlers of news that came from home (England). Secondly, the media at this time was used as a “device to maintain the status quo" by legitimizing the rights of the colonial masters to rule Kenya.
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Currently, the ruling party also owns and runs a partly Daily Newspaper, the Kenya Times and a television station. Their overall objective is to inform, educate, and entertain and to propagate all that consolidates "national unity, peace and stability in Kenya". They are essentially therefore, government communications organs fully controlled by the government of the day.
The second type of media in Kenya includes the privately owned dailies such as the Nation Group of Newspapers and the Standard. These privately owned dailies are fairly autonomous in their editorial policy and have a strong financial base built for a long time before and after independence. They are, however, not immune from governmental controls which take the form of political representations to the owners and threats to sue through courts of law.
The third category of the media in Kenya are the more venerable group indigenous magazines and weeklies such as the Weekly Review, Finance, The Nairobi Law Monthly, Parents, and Step. This category depends on the good will of the government of the day as their capital base is weak. They have less circulation confined mainly to most urban centers and consequently do not draw a great deal of commercial advertising from the seemingly saturated small readership market in the urban centers of Kenya.
The political transition from British colony to independent country was mirrored by changes in the mass media in Kenya. According to Abuoga et, al (2002) In 1963 when Kenya became independent the vast majority of broadcasts on government-owned radio and television stations were imported British and American programmers, but this was set to change. Kenyan culture was promoted via the mass media under the presidency of Jomo Kenyatta as more programmed were broadcast in Swahili and there was a focus on African music and dance. Likewise, newspapers covered more African traditions and culture. The press later suffered under...

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