Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Media of Kenya in a nutshell

At the outset of this blog assignment I knew absolutely nothing about Kenya, especially the media in that country. What I did know however, was that Kenya is an East African country that struggles with poverty, political corruption and health issues of its' people. Kenya also boasts a very diverse culture, filled with pride and a high sense of nationalism. Kenyans are a proud people, they have great food, music, and clothing, but most of all, they take great pride in their heritage. Kenya was not my first choice for this assignment, but I am very appreciative to the person who chose Spain before me. I have learned a great deal, not only about the media, but about the fantastic country that is Kenya.

Kenya's media is perhaps one of the most vibrant and youthful entities in Africa. Their newspapers are filled with colorful articles, pictures, and editorials about the happenings in Africa, as well as the world. Although the literacy rate is not extremely high, the writers at The Standard, The Nation, and many other periodicals throughout Kenya, are very well spoken, and are also well versed in AP Style writing. I found it surprising that the writer's for these newspapers were as good as they were, but after further research, a lot of them went to specific journalism schools that catered to their love of writing.

Some of the best articles I read were not on anything having to do with politics or all the revolutions throughout the Middle East, but rather on the Heritage of Kenya itself. The big media outlets in Kenya covered the issues in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and the other's who were having problems to an extent, but not like they covered their own country. The writer's in Kenya take serious pride in their country, and it showed throughout the semester as I followed the East African Nation. They have a lot different tribes and languages that really feed into the diversity of the country, and make their media one that is distinct from others.

Throughout my coverage of the media in Kenya, I have learned that just because a country may be less developed, or that country may not have as many means to create a stable, thriving media, all it takes is for people to have a passion for reporting. Kenya is one of the most poverty ridden countries in the world, but the people who write for their media entities take great pride in their job, and it shows. If there is one thing that will bring Kenya out of its' struggle with poverty, and turn that country into what it is aspiring to be, it is their media - I just hope they don't lose sight of their fantastic heritage.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Impacts of Digital Technology in Kenya

1. What are the impacts and effects of the internet, mobile phones, and other digital technology for global media?

Kenya has about 22 million cell phone subscribers, that is about 55% of the population. Many cell phone companies exist, but a lot of the local people either don't have the means, or are uninterested in cell phone usage. The impacts have been great for Kenyans, they are able to communicate with much more of their family, who may live elsewhere.

Kenya's internet usage is much higher than its' cell phone usage. Accoring to Alexa.com, here are Kenya's top viewed sites on the internet:

1. Facebook
2. google.co.ke
3. Google.
4. Yahoo
5. YouTube
6. Blogger
7. Wikipedia
8. Twitter
9. Daily Nation
10. LinkedIn

Full list can be seen here

The impacts of the internet in Kenya have been huge. Kenyans are now able to access the world just like every other country. As you can see from the list above, the most visited sites are those of social media or search engines. Seeing Kenya take such a great interest into social media is a great thing. There are thousands of Blogger.com blogs from Kenya, and tons of traditional music videos from that country as well.

2. What are the pros and cons of the internet and computer technology in Kenya?


  • able to connect with the world

  • providing children a way to get more educated

  • giving Kenyans their own voice

  • allowing the people to become more independant

  • expanding their horizons beyond traditional values

  • the internet has helped Kenya become more globalized

  • helps build businesses to jump start the economy


  • taking away from traditional values

  • some images may be harmful for children to see

  • improper usage could lead to violence, uprising
  • Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Kenya's Reaction to Death of Bin Laden

    As we all know, American Special Forces carried out a mission that killed one of the world's greatest terrorists - Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden was responsible not only for the 9/11 attacks, but also many others that killed thousands of innocent people. We have America's take on it, but I found it interesting looking at what Kenya had to say about it, here are a few articles to show Kenya's feeling on the death of Bin Laden.

    From The Standard:

    Al-Qaeda Leader Bin Laden Dead - This article is just informing the Kenyan people of what exactly happened, and who did it.

    US Ambassador to Kenya Applauds Osama's Death - here is a quote from Michael Ranneberger, the US Ambassador to Kenya,"They say the last act is the most important, and so I want to say how much satisfaction I personally take, and demonstrate on behalf of my government, that justice has been served through the killing of Osama Bin Laden by U.S. forces", he continued,"Those victims and their families and loved ones have now received a measure of justice. I well recall the sombre commemoration I hosted for the 10th anniversary of the 1998 bombing. Thus, for me personally – and of course more importantly for the Kenyan people – the killing of Bin Laden provides a sense of closure," he said.

    Kenya's Fear After Bin Laden Death
    Kenya fears of retaliatory attacks, and has decided to strengthen border security and surveillance. Kenya has twice been attacked by Al-Qaeda which claimed the lives of over 250 people. Kenya has said they are worried about the vigilant terrorists who will step into Bin Laden's place, and they are also worried about the hundreds of terrorist organizations that have mutated from Al-Qaeda.

    Sunday, May 1, 2011

    Kenya on Amnesty International

    Here are just a few links that I found interesting on Amnesty International regarding human rights in the Republic of Kenya






    Friday, April 29, 2011

    Kenya on Reporters Without Borders

    Reporters Without Borders is a website that promotes press freedom across the world. The following are a few links to some stories or charts that I found interesting.

    Kenya's press freedom index ranking over the past few years:

    2010: 70
    2009: 96
    2007: 78
    2006: 118
    2005: 109

    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    News Around Kenya

    From The Nation:

    Cigarette Company Opposes Potential Tax Structure - Mastermind Tobacco Kenya is opposed to a new tax regime that the countries government would like to assess to cigarette purchases. Under the new system, cigarettes will be taxed at a fixed rate, but the cigarette company doesn't think it will help with reduced revenue collection from the private sector. Fixed rate taxes on cigarettes are widely endorsed by the World Health Organization, but Mastermind has petitioned Treasury over the issue before finalization.

    From the Standard:

    A Passion for Peacemaking - Superintendant of Police Francis Kooli was born in the conflict ravaged Turkana District, maybe experiencing all that violence at such a young age led him into his peacemaking ways. Kooli recently embarked on a 155 mile walk to raise awareness for blood donation in Kenya. The blood banks in Western Kenya are all but dried up, and Kooli is hoping that his trek will help replenish them.

    Kenyan Investor Shaping Delivery Business - The first multi-restaurant delivery business has been launched in Kenya. Ernie's Delivery Man faced a lot of trouble getting started, but have slowly been reaping the benefits as being the only delivery company in a bustling, urban Kenyan city. Able to deliver to either homes or offices, Ernie's is the one and only middle man between restaurants, businessmen and women, and families who decide they don't want to go out and eat.

    Saturday, April 2, 2011

    Press Freedom in Kenya

    according to Freedom House these are Kenya's press freedom rankings for the last few years:

    Political Rights Score - 4
    Civil Liberties Score - 4
    Status: Partly Free

    The civil liberties score dropped from a 3 to a 4 because of the governments to address abuse by security forces.

    Political Rights Score - 4
    Civil Liberties Score - 3
    Status: Partly Free

    Political Rights Score - 4
    Civil Liberties Score - 3
    Status: Partly Fre

    The political rights rating declined because of the irregularities in the vote-counting that eventually re-elected incumbent candidate Mwai Kibaki.

    Political Rights Score - 3
    Civil Liberties Score - 3
    Status: Partly Free

    Political Rights Score - 3
    Civil Liberties Score - 3
    Status: Partly Free