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Media Concentration and the Coverage of the 2013 General Election in Kenya: Democracy at the Crossroads

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Author(s): Francis Simiyu Tome

Journal: Acta Universitatis Danubius : Communicatio
ISSN 1844-7562

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 45;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: journalistic freedom | democratic health | diversity

ABSTRACT
This research explores the relationship between journalistic freedom and media concentration in Kenya through the lens of the propaganda model (Baker, 2007). The research is based on two features of the 2013 General Election in Kenya: (1) a survey of the publics’ confidence in the conduct of journalists during the 2013 General election in Kenya and (2) a survey of journalists` perceptions of influence of media ownership on journalistic independence in Kenya. This research concludes that an increase in media concentration in Kenya has led to the shrinking of the democratic space. 71 percent of the surveyed Journalists believe media diversity in Kenya is at risk whilst 69 percent believe that viewpoint discrimination is occasioned by unhealthy Media Ownership trends in Kenya. The research also indicates that the perceived climate of distrust dogging the mainstream media in Kenya has seen the public turn to citizen journalism as an alternative source of information. This survey raises further questions about future implications for journalistic independence given the dominance of media concentration in Kenya.

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