Monday, February 28, 2011

Question 3

How do different cultures use the mass media?

Kenya uses the mass media just like us here in America, conforming to the "from the west to the rest" phenomenon.

Here is a Kenyan Airways commercial, complete with culture, accessibility, and a slogan.

Also, with the Aids epidemic throughout African nations, this is a Kenyan condom commercial promoting safe sex practices.

Question 2

How do people see themselves and their cultures reflected on mass media?

Kenya's media is a work in progress. They have basic news related television shows run by Kenya Broadcasting Corporation. Their media is one that continues to grow on a regular basis despite the relatively strong restrictions that it faces. Kenya's biggest hurdle for mass media dominance in Africa are the lack of funds, and the conservative nature of their cultures. In Africa, each country has its' own culture, and many times, hundreds of culture's in each country. With so many different tribes, cultures, and living capacities, it is hard to portray Kenya properly through the mass media.

Kenya is most famous in America for its' great marathon runners. Kenya produces the world's greatest marathon runners, and they dominate much of the world's running scene. Both men and women of Kenya regularly win the biggest marathons such as: The Boston Marathon, New York City Marathon, Chicago Marathon, Berlin Marathon and the London Marathon. The people of Kenya feel that their culture is not reflected in the best light, however, as their history, food, and music are not reported on much in the mass media.

The food of Kenya is something that is relatively undiscovered. Due to the vast resources that Kenya possesses, such as rich farmlands, great lakes, and the Indian Ocean, Kenyan cuisine presents endless opportunities. Much of the food in Kenya is fresh - fresh fish, meats, vegetables, grains, and fruit. Tropical fruit, such as mangos, oranges, pineapples, bananas, papayas and pears are all readily available, and a staple of Kenyan diets.

Kenyan music is based around folk music using a variety of the 40 different dialects that exist in the country. Lately, hip-hop, reggae, rock n' roll, soukous, zouk, and Europop have become extremely popular. The style of music that interests me is Taarab, the word is arabic for "having joy with music". This genre was most popular back in 1928, it is a combination of music from East Asia, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and North Africa all mixed into one.

Here is a YouTube video depicting this type of music

Group 3: Question 1

How do different ethnic groups (or different countries, different cultures) interpret the same media messages?

A perfect example of showing the way a different country and culture reacted to a large scale media message/event, was Kenya's reaction to the election of our president Barack Obama.

Despite not being immediately impacted by the election of Obama to the highest office in the United States, Obama's roots in their country made them feel important.

The country united as one, and celebrated in traditional fashion; even creating a national holiday in honor of Obama's inauguration.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

From The Standard

  • With Libya on the brink of a collapse, any Kibaki-Gaddafi deals hang in the balance

  • A member of Parliament has demanded an inquiry and full disclosure of Kenya's public and secret deals with Libya.

  • 80 Kenyan's who were stranded in Libya throughout the 11-day protests have been evacuated to Egypt.

  • The significance of involvement of Kenyans in Libya has not been fully disclosed, but diplomatic sources have indicated that at least two retired military officers from the Infantry and Air Force are commanding foreign mercenaries in Libya

As Kenya's General Election Nears, Political Battles Likely to Heat Up

  • It has been three years since the "Grand Coalition" was formed, which means one thing of Kenya: it is only one year from a general election.

  • former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, was forced to step in and deliver a personal letter asking President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to close ranks on the nominations stalemate to lower political temperatures.
  • Many Kenyans have made an attempt to stop Raila from succeeding Kibaki as the next President, joining forces to have a better shot at stopping him.

Impacts, Conglomeration and the Effects it has on Media in Kenya

1. What are the main impacts of media conglomeration?

The media of Kenya is fairly equal as to who owns and runs the newspapers, television stations and radio stations. The one aspect of Kenyan media that is in jeopardy of becoming a conglomeration is the newspapers. Nation Media Group owns 3/4 of the country's print media. They own The Nation, East African, and Taifa Leo. The Standard, Kenya's oldest newspaper, is the only privately owned print media circulation left.

Television in Kenya is much more equal than the newspapers. Kenya Broadcasting Company (KBC) is probably the largest group in television, but there are plenty of private owned stations. KBC is probably the most widely watched television station in Kenya, but there are six other privately owned stations available for viewers.

Kenyan Radio is also very open to enterprise and competition. KBC has a news station, and a music station which are widely listened to, but there are many other privately owned options for listeners. There are seven privately owned radio stations that cater to a variety of taste's and languages. There is even a station that targets Nairobi's Asian population.

2. How is conglomeration affecting other countries, markets?

Kenya's pseudo-conglomerations are helping other countries and other markets. Their affinity for media sets a framework for other countries to set up their own media identity. A main example of how Kenya's media is helping other countries is that Nation Media Group has all of their newspapers printed in Nairobi. It is giving the people of Nairobi extra job opportunities, and allowing them to see how a newspaper is created.

3. How is conglomeration affecting your country?

Because there are still many privately owned options available, I think the conglomeration that Nation Media Group has on print media is a healthy one. Nation Media Group has come up with three amazing newspapers, each of which cover different aspects of what is going on in Kenya. The Standard, which is privately owned, is still the second largest circulation in Kenya, and it still gives some competiton to the three NMG papers.

4. Can you notice the effects on your country's media?

So far I have not been able to notice any effects. The Standard is still a very strong newspaper, while television and radio stations are thriving in the shadow of KBC.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Kenyan Authority Named in Possible Drug Activity

From The Nation

Possible Parliamentary drug activity

A task force has been set-up in Kenya that will investigate the involvement of six members of Kenya's parliament, and a Mombasa business tycoon in relation to a drug baron scandal.

The investigations are ongoing, and may take a few months, as they must gather information across borders.

The parliamentary members who are being named in this investigation are vehemently denying the acqusations, and want punishment to those who named them when their innocence is proved.

Probe turns up no evidence linking six members of Parliament

Police say their investigation into a drug ring possibly involving high ranking Kenyan officials was compromised because the suspects were named.

The lack of evidence is due in part to witnesses who are unwilling to give statement's, legal obstacles - such as laws against self-incrimination - and also because all the suspects being investigated denied any involvement.

The police report suggests that stricter anti-narcotics laws would allow inspections of assets and tax returns of suspected drug traffickers.

City Hall may lose up to 300 million shillings

Kenya's City Hall, located in Nairobi, risks losing up to 300 million shillings after the government revoked a title deed it sold to a developer.

The deed was sold to the private developer, but Lands Minister James Orengo revoked the deed, as that land is only to be used to provide health services to residents, and no one is allowed to occupy it.

If a settlement is not reached outside of court, the developer could be in line to receive the 300 million shillings if the matter is taken to court.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Introduction to the Media of Kenya

The media in Kenya is an entity that has grown leaps and bounds throughout recent years. The country contains 47 different counties, each with its' own governing body; which makes for very colorful media outlets. With so many different cultures in such a compact area, Kenya is considered to have Africa's most vibrant newspapers, television, and radio stations.

Kenya has four newspapers that circulate daily - The Standard, The Nation, Taifa, and The People - these four papers combined have a daily circulation of nearly 400,000.

The Standard is Kenya's oldest English language newspaper, but not its' most popular. The paper was founded in 1902, and was originally intended for civil servants, and the business community. Ownership and content of The Standard has changed several times over the years, which may be the reason they have lost so many readers. Nevertheless, The Standard has outlasted all other Kenyan newspapers, and still circulates to this day.

The Nation is Kenya's most popular newspaper based on circulation. 184,000 Kenyan's subscribe to The Nation, and receive it daily. This is also an English language newspaper, and was the first to use an Africanization policy in its' publication.

Taifa is a Swahili language paper that is operated by the same people who operate The Nation. They use the same reporters and editors, and it has a circulation of 35,000.

The People is the youngest daily circulating paper that Kenya offers. It started off as a weekly publication, but turned into a daily with a Sunday edition in 1998. By 2002, The People had a circulation of 60,000. The People was founded to take on the stories that The Standard and the Nation refused to report, and its' success will depend on the acceptance of the people of Kenya.

Kenya also has 10 more non-daily newspapers.

Kenya has six television stations:

1. Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) - used mainly for government purposes, but also has a sister station, KBC Metro, that provides entertainment based programs.

2. Kenya Television Network (KTN) - first station to break away from KBC, originally created to show "activism journalism", but now focuses on business reporting. KTN has had a very positive impact on Kenyan culture.

3. Nation TV Channel 42 (NTV) - reports on all the happenings in Kenya. Owned by Nation Media Group, Kenya's largest media corporation, several NTV journalists have received CNN's Journalist of the Year Award.

4. Family TV - a Christian organization that sets out to provide an alternative television source with a religious angle.
5. Citizen TV (Royal Media) - founded in 1998, Citizen TV broadcasts current event programs as well as entertainment programs.

6. Sayare TV - Broadcasts Christian and gospel programs

The main radio station in Kenya is owned by KBC. It broadcasts in English, Swahili and 15 other local languages. Being state owned, the station sticks to politics, and government news, but it will sometimes delve into entertainment news.

Metro FM, Capital FM and KIIS FM are all privately owned stations in Kenya that are all music based.

The media in Kenya is an ever-growing business. They now have school's which are devoted to journalism, and many people who have a passion for seeking and reporting. Much more information and statistics on the growth of Kenyan media can found here.