The effect of media policy and regulations on the practice of journalism in Kenya
A RESEARCH PROJECT SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE
REQUIREMENT FOR THE AWARD OF BACHELORS DEGREE IN JOURNALISM IN THE FACULTY OF MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION,
MULTIMEDIA UNIVERSITY OF KENYA
List of abbreviations and acronyms.
BCAC- Broadcasting Content Advisory Authority
CAK- Communications Authority of Kenya
CC- Complaints Commission
CCK Communications Commission of Kenya
KICA- 2013 Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Act, 2013
KICA- Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998
MCA- Media Council Act 2013
MCK- Media Council of Kenya
MOA- Media Owners Associations
NMG- Nation Media Group
RMS- Royal Media Services
RWB- Reporters without Borders
SG- Standard Group
The freedom of the press as legislatively interpreted is an instrument of legal obligation on human rights involving the press and its individuals; the journalists. Under the 2010 constitution of Kenya, Article 34(5) provides for the freedom of the media and states that:
Parliament shall enact legislation that provides for the establishment of a body, which shall— a) Be independent of control by government, political interests or commercial interests; b) Reflect the interests of all sections of the society; and c) Set media standards and regulate and monitor compliance with those standards.
The body under which these regulations are set is the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) which further defines the Act to cover Media enterprises; Journalists; Media practitioners; Foreign journalist accredited by the Media Council of Kenya; and Consumers of media services.
However, the act does not seem to play as detailed in the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) Act of 2013. In respect with the press, the law is supposed to create rights and duties of citizens, the press and the state; to limits boundaries for the exercise of freedoms; and to create a framework for control and regulation of the press and its activities.
With the governing regulations imposed on the press, the policy has put limits to bar Article 34 of the constitution from being implemented. Its involvement has created a control system which snatches the power of this article and declares to limit access to information, especially from official governmental sources; placing limits on freedom to disseminate information; emphasizing regulation and control of the form of dissemination; and denial to prior access to information material by the state or its agents.
According to the regulations governing the freedom of the press, the law has the responsibility of ensuring accurate information and clean entertainment and playing a political role of ensuring that activities of the press conform with what the state considers desirable.
To the expectation of the general public, the right to freedom of expression exercised on, media enterprises, journalists, media practitioners, foreign journalists and consumers of media services shall reflect the interests of all sections of society, be accurate and fair; be accountable and transparent; respect the personal dignity and privacy of others; demonstrate professionalism and respect for the rights of others; and be guided by the national values and principles of governance set out under Article 10 (2) on National Values and principles of governance, of the Constitution which states: The national values and principles of governance include—(a) patriotism, national unity, sharing and devolution of power, the rule of law, democracy and participation of the people; (b) human dignity, equity, social justice, inclusiveness, equality, human rights, non-discrimination and protection of the marginalized; (c) good governance, integrity, transparency and accountability; and (d) sustainable development.
This study shows why the regulations set for Kenyan media are however not favorable and seek to mute the voices of able journalists who are ready to reveal the stench but are limited by the policies in place. Despite the Code of conduct for the practice of journalism, journalists still do not enjoy the freedom of the media and feel bound from reporting what the public wants to listen.
The council has diverted and failed to: promote and protect the freedom and independence of the media, prescribe standards of journalists, media practitioners and media enterprises, ensure the protection of the rights and privileges of journalists in the performance of their duties, promote and enhance ethical and professional standards amongst journalists and media enterprises, advise the government or the relevant regulatory authority on matters relating to professional, education and the training of journalists and other media practitioners, develop and regulate ethical and disciplinary standards for journalists, media practitioners and media enterprises, establish media standards and regulate and monitor compliance with the media standards and to facilitate resolution of disputes between the government and the media and between the public and the media and intra media.
The study further suggests measures through which the government, through the Media Council of Kenya (MCK), the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) the Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ), Media Owners Association (MOA), Kenya Editors’ Guild, Kenya Correspondents Association, Public Relations Society of Kenya, the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology, Kenya News Agency (KNA) and the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), who are responsible for media policies and regulations, can take to improve the media standards and encourage private journalism and freelancing as part of the media in Kenya.
The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness, the implementation and the relevance of the media policies and regulations in the practice of journalism in Kenya.
The research design employed in this study was a descriptive cross sectional survey design. The target population of this study was all the four Media Houses in Kenya (Nation Media Group (NMG), The Standard Group, Radio Africa and Media MAX) and the Journalists working for them. The study used interview guides, questionnaires and systematic observations for data collection. The study used content analysis for data presentation.
This chapter seeks to outline the: background of study, concept of performance, research problem, research objective, and the significance and value of study.
Media policies and regulations in this study is explained as the rules and measures put in place by the government, through certain bodies as the Media Council of Kenya (MCK), with the aim of monitoring the practices of journalists, and the content shared to the general public.
The General Public is then defined as the audience, without the limitation of age, and who are the consumers of the media contents.
1.1 Background of Study
This research project centers around two theories of communication; the magic bullet theory and Agenda setting theory (Maxwell McCombs and Donald L. Shaw) which explains how the media influences and affects the order of presentation in news reports, events and issues in the public mind. These theories explain the interest that the government may use to choose what gets to the audiences and restricts, through censorship and set regulations, what media industries ought to cover and what not ought to be covered.
This study describes and analyses the laws that affect the mass media in Kenya keeping in mind regulatory bodies and laws such as the government through the ministry of Information and technology, the media act of 2013, the Association of media women in Kenya, the Code of Conduct for the practice of Journalism, Article 19 and the Kenya Information and Communication Act, 2013. This is important due to the reasons as: information on the role of law in mass media regulation tends to be scarce and scattered and usually unavailable to those who need it, that is, mass media professionals and, press freedom as an important human right, the qualification of which should be restricted to the barest essentials (Cripps, Yvonne (1984)).
In this research, a discussion of the role of law in mass media regulation is a useful contribution to an important debate on constitutional rights in a democratic society with freedom of the media and access to information.
However, it is submitted that four reasons have been used to justify and approve the introduction of laws which curtail press freedom (Finance (1989). ‘Press in Kenya’, June). These reasons include:
(I) The interests of the state, especially its security;
(ii) The interests of the society, especially public health and morals;
(iii) The interests of justice; and
(iv) The interests of the individual, especially on privacy.
Despite these rules, media policies still fail to provide what is required of journalists and bars them from accessing and implementing some of this advantages and privileges. The constitution which mandates their freedom of the press and the media has been subdued by the governing bodies which have formulated laws that undermine the practice of journalism in Kenya.
In this study, this laws are highlighted in line with the constitution and the code of ethics for journalism to verify the impossibility of media freedom awareness and exhibition.
1.2 Statement of the problem
“Even if all the physical barriers to communication were known and removed, there would remain many physical barriers to the free flow of ideas.” (Hyman & Sheatsley, 1947) Some of the reasons why the media performance is derailing because of the policies that have not been amended include:
- Insufficient inputs
- Improper segmentation of audience policies
- Inappropriate media or platforms
- Failure to maintain momentum
- Rejection of ideas by the audiences (Thomson, 2016)
All the above can be avoided since the media needs to implement them in their policy reforms. It is evident that Kenyan media is in jeopardy due to insufficient inputs. Should enough training be involved in selecting trained and qualified journalists, certainly, the content presented will be positively consumed and appreciated.
The media keeps changing every time with technology and it is well known that every day comes with new innovations. The media adapts these changes and need an update whenever they are released to the public. Working on regulations that cover old-generated policies is devastating and evades real time incidents from being covered.
To ensure momentum, there is lack of support from government created media entities. The function of these bodies are to monitor and support Bills which favor the practice and performance of journalists and not set up rules which undermine their freedom. Constitutionally, Chapter 34(5) of the 2010 constitution of Kenya guarantees the freedom of the media and states:
Parliament shall enact legislation that provides for the establishment of a body, which shall—
(a) be independent of control by government, political interests or commercial interests;
(b) reflect the interests of all sections of the society; and
(c) set media standards and regulate and monitor compliance with those standards.
Should this article be considered, the bodies created by the parliament will be in full mandate to diligently exercise their duties without interference by the national government and other bodies that may want to jeopardize the practice of the media.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
This study aims to assess the effectiveness of media policies and regulations in the practice of journalism in Kenya and how these policies can be regulated to favor the media personalities, the investors, the owners and the audience in content coverage and distribution.
1.4 Research objectives
1.4.1 General research objective
To determine the effectiveness and relevance in the implementation of media policies and regulations in the practice of journalists in Kenya.
1.4.2 Specific objectives
- To determine whether the policy promotes the existence of free and pluralistic media which reflects on diversity of ideas and opinions
- To determine whether the media regulations sustain an atmosphere free from censorship and arbitrary controls on the flow of information
- To determine whether the media policies ensure that the means of communication are used for the benefit of all Kenyans
1.5 Research questions
Specific questions that the study answers include:
- Which policies provided by the media act of 2013 promotes existence of free and pluralistic media that reflects on diversity of ideas and opinions?
- Does the media experience blockage on content coverage on limitation of what should be shared publicly, and if so, what are the policies responsible for censorship and flow of information?
- Which are the channels through which the media reach their target audiences and how do these audiences benefit from these means?
1.6 Scope of the study
Generally, the focus of the study is directed towards pointing out loopholes that can be sealed for the betterment and appropriate communication by journalists in attaining the core objectives of the media policies and regulations in Kenya. The study attempts to determine its efficiency through analyzing how the Kenyan Media is reporting on News in Kenya and beyond its boundaries and how International Media could be related to improve the way local media is attributed at home.
1.7 Significance of the study
The findings of this study redound to the benefit of the society considering the fact that Media Policies have a significant impact to the journalists, the media houses and the consumers of media content in Kenya. The greater demand of media regulation and content censorship is a clear indication that media policies and regulations contribute in providing appropriate information through appropriate channels to the audience, without necessarily being hindered to do so by external bodies that are not recognized by the body responsible for the freedom of the press. All objectives considered, the benefits cut across, from the journalists, through their audiences, to the media houses and the government at large.
1.8 Limitations of the study
The liberal or pluralist discourse locates the audience within the development of Western industrialized society, arguing that the media must reach the citizens – in their role as audiences – if they are to gain the information, understanding and shared cultural values required to sustain the informed consent that underpins democratic governance. Yet within this democratic view of audiences lie also the seeds of doubt – what happens when audiences do not act in a selective or rational manner, or when the media don’t provide fair or balanced information? (Media audiences, interpreters, users, in: Gillespie, M, Media Audiences, 2. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press, 2005, pp. 9-50.)
1.9 Assumption of the study
Kenyan Media is one of mere ‘bandwagonism’ informed by the western ‘modernity’ and ‘civilization’ ( https://doi.org/10.1177/1748048509339792 ). 60 percent of the audience would dismiss the belief that African Journalism would regain its ground and act as an institution by its own even without the support of the bodies that regulate its performance and functionality. They believe that what African Media is doing is influenced by the practices and the demands of the western states, which demand that policies and regulations be set to ensure content coverage is maintained to the favor of iconic personalities within a set of government, and that without their support, nothing worth covering may be published or released to the audiences hence crippling every aspect of communication within a certain system.
The chapter presents the related literature based on the research topic and studies after thorough and in-depth research conducted by other scholars. It presents the theoretical framework to fully understand the research that has been done and lastly, the definition of terms for better comprehension of the study. The review basically was by use of various theoretical works, books, discussions from journals and articles
Regulation of the media normally takes place within a broader framework of principle and policies. Media refers to the complex of socio –political-philosophical principles which organize ideas about the relationship between media and the society. This study was based on normative theory which is concerned with what the media ought to be doing in society rather than what they actually do.
According to Siebert et al (1956) in their book Four Theories of the press, they, the state takes on the form and coloration of the social and political structures within which it operates. The press and other media, in their view, will reflect the basis beliefs and assumptions that the society holds. In western liberal tradition, this refers to matters such as freedom, equality before the law, social solidarity and cohesion, cultural diversity, active participation and social responsibility.
Although normative theory of the press is now in a considerable state of uncertainty (Nerone), identifies certain broad traditions of thought about the rights and responsibilities of media in the society and the degree to which the society may legitimately intervene to protect the public interest. The main relevant variants are Authoritarian theory, free press theory, social responsibility theory, and development media theory.
2.0.1 Authoritarian Theory
This applies to early pre democratic forms of the society and also to present day undemocratic or autocratic social systems. In this view all media and public communication are subject to the supervision of the ruling authority and expression or opinion which might undermine the established social and political order can be forbidden. Although this theory contravenes rights of freedom of expression, it can be invoked under extreme conditions.
2.0.2 Free press theory
Fully developed in USA; it proclaims complete freedom of public expression and of economic operation of the media and rejects any interference by the government in any aspect of the press. A well-functioning market should resolve all issues of media obligation and social need.
2.0.3 Social Responsibility theory
This is found more in Europe and countries under European influence. It is a modified free press theory placing greater emphasis upon the accountability of the media especially broadcasting to society. Media are free but they should accept obligations to serve the public good. The means of ensuring compliance with these obligations can either be through professional self-regulation or public intervention in both.
2.0.4 Development Media theory
It applies in countries at lower levels of economic development and with limited resources. It takes various forms but essentially proposes that the media while desirable should be subordinated to the requirements of economic, social and political development.
Often, the media system of a given country will have a mixture of theoretical elements and media types displaying neither absolute freedom nor absolute subordination to the state or ruling power. Hallin and Mancini (2004) argued that we should forget about normative theories and look more closely at actual arrangements connecting media with society. They propose a typology of relations between media system and political system, based on a comparative examination of contemporary national societies. In this view there are three types or variants, each with different implications for the role and obligations of the media in the society: a liberal model in which the media operate according to the principles of the free market without formal connections between media and politics and with minimal state intervention, a democratic corporatist model in which commercial media co-exist with media tied to organized social and political groups and the state has a small but active role, a polarized pluralist model, with media integrated into party politics, weaker commercial media and a strong role for the state.
These models are also ideal types and in practice societies have a mixture of the elements outlined. Public service broadcasting is found in 2 forms in the second and 3rd models as, respectively, either a neutralized and politically impartial organization or as politicized in some way usually with division in terms of the political spectrum. In the fully liberal model, there may be little or no place for public service broadcasting.
According to Christian, C. G et al, liberalism underlies their normative systems built on a foundation of methodological individualism: All normative elements finally depend on persons acting according to their conscience about what kind of public communication represents truth, justice, and respect for human dignity. Further they argue that no formal claim can legitimately be made on a free press to carry out any particular task.
Christian et al argue that a key condition for establishing a satisfactory normative formula that harmonizes the moral claims of all social actors is the quality of dialogue between social actors. According to Benson (2009) and Habermas (2007)28 they argue that Christian et al argument that by raising awareness of value laden aspects or arguments, normative theories can help media policymakers and professionals to acknowledge their own unstated premises and thus serve as instruments of emancipation from status quo; however how the emancipation is concretely realized is a challenge. They argue that practice and policy prescriptions have to be adequate to realize normative ideals and that if authors pessimistically conclude, we live in an age when there is little serious challenge to the view that the media are primarily a business and that the freedom of the media is freedom of the trade, then it strain credibility to suppose that small, transient, non-professional collective happenings oriented towards understanding its own identity will be adequate to challenge increasingly concentrated, entrenched economic power.
2.1 Institutional framework in Kenya
There are two legislated institutions in Kenya that have oversight responsibilities over broadcasters. These are the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) formerly known as Communications Commission of Kenya and The Media Council of Kenya. There are other associations like the Kenya Union of Journalists, the Kenya Media Owners Associations, Reporters without borders(RWB), Article 19 Eastern Africa and the courts which aim to achieve higher professional standards and to protect it members, to promote and defend press freedom.
2.1.1 Communications authority of Kenya
The communications Authority of Kenya formerly known as the communications commission of Kenya was established under the KICA, 2009 and it is a body corporate capable of being sued and suing.
The commissions name was changed to abide with section 34(5) of the Kenya constitution, 2010. CAK’s mandate is broad and includes licensing and regulating postal, information and communications services in accordance with the provision of KICA and so anyone who wishes to operate a broadcasting station applies for same from CAK.
The CAK is charged with the duty of ensuring that each local broadcaster airs the amount of local content in its license, ensure that the broadcasters include news and information in their programming as well as discussions of national importance and ensuring that the broadcasters adheres strictly to the subscribed or authorities subscribing code.
The CAK is also charged with the responsibility of prescribing a programme code that sets the standards for the time and manner of programs to be broadcast by the broadcasting stations.
The CAK also has a duty of resolving disputes between consumers and a service provider and a service provide provider through its tribunal.
By the year 2007, the liberalization effect in the telecommunication sector had produced an indirect benefit. A very vibrant broadcasting sector that has seen investors get broadcasting frequencies for delivering radio and television channels. The technical licensing process was handled by CAK but the content aspect part remained “unregulated”
The Kenya information and communication Act, 2009 created a Broadcasting Content Advisory Council (BCAC) role was to work with the media Council in setting rules regulatory mechanism for broadcast sector and to make decisions on the administration of the broadcast content aspect and provisions of the Act and on the mechanisms of handing complaints as well as monitoring compliance with the broadcasting codes and ethics for broadcasters. The BCAC was disbanded in January 2014 and a new committee Broadcast Standards committee was formed.
The move to create Authority outside the media council of Kenya to set up regulations standards of the media has been widely opposed by the media sector on grounds that it takes up its independence and regulations which handled all issues related to media complaints and advised the CAK on regulations of the Media Council.
2.1.2 The media council of Kenya
The media Council of Kenya (MCK) was established by the Media Act, 2007 and it is mandated to discipline journalist and oversee the regulation of content of media through self-regulation. By 2009, it was commonly agreed that broadcast content, particularly over FM radio stations were not being addressed and the government then enacted the Kenya Information and communication Amendment Act of 2009. The Media Council is a body corporate capable of suing and being sued. The Media Council of Kenya functions include: To mediate and arbitrate in disputes between the government and the media, between the public and the media, and intra media, to promote the freedom and independence of the media, to promote high professional standards among journalist. to promote ethical standards among journalist and in the media, to ensure the protection of the rights and privileges of journalists in the performance of their duties.
The Media Act also legislated the Code of Conduct for the practice of journalism in its second schedule which ranges from accuracy and fairness of the journalist, independence, integrity, accountability, confidentiality, unnamed sources, privacy, acts of violence, hate speech and sex discrimination.
The media Council of Kenya is mandated to handle complains through its Complaints Commission (CC) thus providing for a mechanism of solving conflicts among the media stations, media and public and media and the government.
2.1.3 Legal framework of the media in Kenya
Kenya has signed and is bound by these several international instrumentals that recognize the free speech principle. In cognizance of its obligations under the above instruments and in obedience to the principal of freedom of expression, unlike the previous constitution, the Current Kenya Constitution passed in 2010 provides the freedom of media, freedom to speech, right to privacy. Under Article 28 of the Constitution, 2010 every person has inherent and, dignity and the right to have that dignity respected and protected under Article 31 of the Constitution which provides that every person has the right to privacy which includes the right not to have;
(a) Their person, home or property searched;
(b) Their possession seized.
(c)Information relating to their family or private affairs unnecessarily required or revealed; or
(d) The privacy of their communication revealed
The constitution also provides for Freedom of Expression; In Article 33(1) Every person has the right to freedom of expression, which includes:
(a)Freedom to seek, receive or impart information or ideas;
(b)Freedom of artistic creativity; and
(c)Academic freedom and freedom of scientific research
In the exercise of the right to freedom of expression, every person shall respect the rights and reputation of others. In Article 34. (1) Freedom and independence of electronic, print and all others types of media is guaranteed, but does not extend to any expression specified in Article 33(2) The state shall not:
(a)Exercise control over or interfere with any person engaged in broadcasting, the production or circulation of any publication or the dissemination of information by any medium; or
(b)Penalize any person for any opinion or view or content of any broadcast, publication or dissemination.
Broadcasting and other electronic media have freedom of establishment, subject to licensing procedures that-
(a) Are necessary to regulate the airwaves and other forms of signal distribution; and
(b) Are independent of control by government, political interest or commercial interests
All state-owned media shall:
(a) Be free to determine independently the editorial content of their broadcast or other communications;
(b) Be impartial; and
(c) Afford fair opportunity for the presentation of divergent views and dissenting opinions
Parliament shall enact legislation that provides for the establishment of a body which shall
(a) Be independent of control by government, political interest or commercial interest;
(b) Reflect the interest of all sections of the society; and
(c) Set media standards and regulate and monitor compliance with those standards
In Article 35 (1) every citizen has the right of access to
(a) Information held by the state; and
(b) Information held by another person and required for the exercise or protection of any right that affects that person.
Every person has the right to the correction or deletion of untrue or misleading information that affects that person.
The state shall publish and publicize any important information affecting the nation.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURE
This chapter presents the research design, area of study, population, sample of the population, sampling technique, instruments for data collection, validation of the questionnaire, administration of the instruments and method of data analysis.
3.1 Research Design
The case study and descriptive designs was employed in the study. A case study design was used because the study relied majorly on the programs aired and published by the Kenyan Media Houses, including: The Royal Media, The Standard Group, Nation Media Group and IMAX since they contribute the highest percentage of viewership and content distribution in Kenya. The study is also descriptive since it aims to establish the impact of the media policies and regulations and how they influence the media from performing to its customer expectation limits.
3.2 Study Area
The study was conducted at the Standard Group, particular reference to KTN Home and KTN News, Royal Media Services; specifically, Citizen TV, Nation Media Group; specifically, on NTV and IMAX for K24 TV. The study area is purposive since no studies have been conducted in this area on this topic.
3.3 Study Population
The target population for the study were journalists from Kenya’s top four media houses; the Nation Media Group (NMG), the Standard Group, Royal Media Services an IMAX. It also involved consumers of both local and international programs aired and published by the four media houses. The accessible population comprised of journalists from the Standard Group and the consumers of both local and international programs aired and published by the four media houses.
3.4 Population Sample
The sample population of the study was 12 journalists and 36 consumers of the programs. The producers, directors and hosts were also included in the study, consequently, giving a total of 50 respondents.
3.5 Sampling Techniques and Sampling Size
Purposive sampling was used to select 12 journalists needed for the study. This was achieved through the number of programs, the contents shared and the rate of experience they had. Additionally, convenience sampling was used to select the 36 consumers of programs needed for study. This was achieved by choosing the first 36 interview responders.
3.6 Instruments for Data Collection
An interview schedule was designed as one as one of the data collection instruments for the study. The program producers, directors and the hosts were also interviewed. The interview questions (See Appendix I) endeavored to elicit relevant information concerning the effects of media policy and regulation in the practice of journalism. The interview used both open- and closed-ended questions. A questionnaire (See Appendix B) titled ‘The Effect of Media Policies and Regulations in the Practice of Journalism in Kenya’ was also used in the study. The content of this instrument was based on the findings of the interview conducted with the producers, directors and Show hosts, as well as on the information from reviewed literature.
The questionnaire had four sections: A, B, C and D:
- Section ‘A’ was on Characteristics of the Respondents
- Section ‘B’ was on the Media Policies and Regulation
- Section ‘C’ was on the Media and the Constitution
- Section ‘D’ was on challenges of Journalists in Kenya
3.7 Validation of the Questionnaire
The questionnaire designed for the study was subjected to a validation process for face and content validity. Copies of the questionnaire and the research questions were presented to the instructor who went through it to ascertain the appropriateness and adequacy of the instrument. A pilot test was carried out on the instrument using 7 journalists and 20 consumers of the media programs from The Multimedia University of Kenya.
3.8 Data Collection Methods
Both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection were used in the study. The semi structured interviews with the producers, the directors and show hosts were essential in the collection of qualitative data. After the pilot test, 48 structured questionnaires were presented to the remaining respondents and these were useful in the collection of quantitative data.
3.9 Data Analysis
The analysis methods of the study were fully based on the data that was collected using the questionnaires and interviews about the Impact of Media Policies and Regulations in the Practice of Journalism in Kenya. Questionnaires collected from the respondents were quantitatively analyzed and presented in a form of table through percentages. Data collected after the interview was qualitatively analyzed to complement the quantitative analysis.
3.10 Time Schedule
The study was conducted within the following time break down:
Table 1: Time Schedule for Research Study
|1.1||Preparation of questionnaires||75||3||_|
|1.2||Issuing questionnaires for pilot test||27||3||Multimedia University of Kenya
|1.2||Preparation of questions for interviews||2||1||_|
|1.3||Interviewing||2||2||KTN News and KTN Home
|1.4||Issuing and collection of questionnaires||48||5||KTN News and KTN Home
|2.1||Raw Data Arrangement||_||14||_|
|2.5||Writing Result and Discussion||_||2||_|
|2.6||Writing Conclusion and Recommendation||_||2||_|
Table 2: Budget Breakdown of Research Study
Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation of Data
This chapter includes the presentation, analysis and interpretation of data that have been gathered from the questionnaires distributed to the respondents. This chapter also contains the presentation of data in tabular form along with their corresponding interpretations.
4.1 Characteristics of the Respondents
Majority of the respondents were female with a frequency of 38 or 79.2 percent of the population while the male had a frequency of 10 or 20.8 percent. This clearly revokes the notion that “media industry has been dominated by men.” (Galley, 2014)
Table 3: Gender of Respondents
The age bracket of above 45 garnered the highest percentage of 28 or 58.3 percent, followed by 25-34 with 12 or 25 percentage, 34-44 with 6 or 12.5 percent and finally, 19-24 with 2 or 4.2 percent.
Table 4: Age Distribution of Respondents
|Age Bracket||Frequency||Percentage (%)|
Majority of respondents attained a degree as their highest level of education with a frequency of 19 or 39.6 percent, followed by certificate with 16 or 33.3 percent, diploma with 10 or 20.8 percent, masters and above with 2 or 4.2 percent and finally, high school with 1 or 2.1 percent.
Table 5: Level of Education of Respondents
|Level of Education||Frequency||Percentage (%)|
|Masters and Above||2||4.2|
4.2 Media Policies and Regulation
Majority of the respondents agreed that the media is invaded with decisions from top governmental and private organizations with a total frequency of 42 or 87.5 percent. However, 6 respondents did not agree with the statement and made up the remaining 12.5 percent.
Table 6: Respondents on government involvement in the media
4.2.2 Respondents on the success of independence of media in producing and publishing content without interference by government bodies
Majority of respondents agree that there is independence of the media and that most media houses make their own decisions. They also attributed that the culture in media industry can change and improve the way media will be attributed in future if, private investors are allowed the space to practice the freedom of the media with the total frequency of 28 or 58.3 percent. On the other hand, the remaining 20 or 41.7 percent show different levels of disagreement with the statement.
Table 7: Respondents on the success of independence of media in producing and publishing content without interference by government bodies
4.2.3 Respondents on whether the government should create a specific body that will be dealing with media policies and regulation and be renewed after every five years
Majority of respondents showed different levels of agreement that the government should be allowed to create only one body that will stand as a union for the journalists. This was because most respondents thought it would be the starting point for the government to have a full control of what happens within the media industry. However, some respondents suggested that having too many bodies would fail to create and sustain relevant content and relationships due to multiple bodies that contribute in media policy making hence providing contradictory information on how the media should behave in covering stories, with a total of 28 or 58.3 percent. However, the remaining 20 or 41.7 percent did not believe that relationship building determined the level of success of media policies. Further investigation reveals that those in disagreement pointed out to other explanations why the media fail to meet project goals and objectives. Some of the reasons given included: insufficient capital, inappropriate media or platforms used to disseminate specific messages and programs, failure to maintain momentum and rejection of ideas by the audience.
Table 8: Respondents on whether the government should create a specific body that will be dealing with media policies and regulation and be renewed after every five years
4.2.4 Respondents on whether the government has failed to supply enough media policy materials detailed with information about media coverage in Kenya
Majority of the respondents showed different levels of agreement that most media houses do not train their employees and that they rely on government journals which run out before they reach them, with a total frequency of 43 or 89.6 percent. Further investigation revealed that most respondents had not been exposed to renewed media policies and regulations. However, 5 respondents, who make up 10.4 percent of the total, disagree with the statement citing reasons of non-commitment by already existing media bodies responsible with Media Policies and Regulations.
Table 9: Respondents on whether the government has failed to supply enough media policy materials detailed with information about media coverage in Kenya
4.3 Media and the Constitution
4.3.1 Respondents on whether Articles 34 and 35 of the constitution of Kenya are limited and deny the journalists the full mandate to practice journalism
Majority of the respondents claimed that they could sometimes feel barred from exercising their rights since they are under different rules including the Code of ethics to follow hence fail to choose which set of rules to follow. This further suggest that there are rights which the journalists fail to enjoy with an aim of exercising the journalistic principles. The 25 made up 52.1 percent of the total. 13 respondents claimed that they could often feel barred and denied, making up 27.1 of the total. Moreover, 10 respondents claimed that they could always fail to exercise their rights in order to act journalistically. A probe into these types of respondents revealed that the media policy does not provide full explanation and does not cover both the constitution and the code of ethics for the practice of journalism.
Table 10: Respondents on whether Articles 34 and 35 of the constitution of Kenya are limited and deny the journalists the full mandate to practice journalism
4.3.2 Respondents on how well they understand the constitution on articles 34 and 35 and whether they are self-explanatory or need further amendments
Majority of the respondents claim that they rarely fail to completely understand the section of the constitution citing that the phrases used are not clear and that contradict each other with other sections of the constitution, with a frequency 19 or 39.6 percent, followed by those who at times understand, with a frequency of 10 or 20.8 percent. Respondents that always understand the Articles of the constitution make up 16.7 percent of the total, with a frequency of 8. The least number of respondents claim that they do not understand the articles at all and suggest that they be amended, with a frequency of 5 or 10.4 percent.
Table 11: Respondents on how well they understand the constitution on articles 34 and 35 and whether they are self-explanatory or need further amendments
4.3.3 Respondents on whether the constitution was followed in creating the media policy and regulations
Majority of the respondents often share their personal opinions citing differences that the media policy provides, which differ to the constitution and suggest that the constitution was not completely followed, with a frequency of 23 or 47.9 percent, followed by those that say that both the constitution and the policy conquer hence the law was followed, with 8 or 16.7 percent, those that do not understand the relationship with 7 or 14.6 percent, those that always relate the policy to the constitution with 6 or 12.5 percent. The remaining 4 or 8.3 percent sometimes support the statement and sometimes reject the validity.
Table 12: Respondents on whether the constitution was followed in creating the media policy and regulations
4.4 Challenges of Journalists
All the respondents showed different levels of agreement that the policy chooses the rights and freedoms of the journalist and when they should practice so. More specifically, 40 of the respondents or 83.3 percent of the total strongly agreed to the statement, followed by 6 or 12.5 percent who somewhat agreed to it and finally, 2 or 4.2 percent who basically agreed to it.
Table 13: Respondents on Journalists Rights and Freedoms are influenced by the media policy
4.4.2 Respondents on whether the bodies responsible for the safety of journalists desert the journalists during scandals
All the respondents strongly agreed media governing bodies distance themselves whenever a scandal covered by journalists occurs and leaves the journalists to their own fate. Further explanation reflected scandals that involved government officials and how these bodies would claim not to have known such investigations by the journalists were being conducted.
Table 14: Respondents on whether the bodies responsible for the safety of journalists desert the journalists during scandals
4.4.3 Respondents on whether the policy safeguards the states interest and not the journalists covering stories related to the government
Majority of the respondents basically agree that the media policy was developed for the favor of the government and not the journalists despite its intentions to cover for the journalists, with a frequency of 15 or 31.2 percent, followed by respondents who strongly agree, with 12 or 25 percent and those who somewhat agree with 11 or 22.9 percent. On the other hand, 9 respondents or 18.8 percent of the total somewhat disagreed while 1 respondent basically disagreed with the statement.
Table 15: Respondents on whether the policy safeguards the states interest and not the journalists covering stories related to the government
4.4.4 Respondents on whether the rights to articles 31, 33, 34 and 35 of the constitution of Kenya are limited once one becomes a journalist
Majority of the respondents showed different levels of agreement that the right to privacy, freedom of expression, freedom of the media and the right to access to information are limited once they are accepted to the society as journalists, with a total frequency of 38 or 79.2 percent. However, the remaining 10 or 20.8 percent disagreed with the statement.
Respondents on whether the rights to articles 31, 33, 34 and 35 of the constitution of Kenya are limited once one becomes a journalist
4.4.5 Respondents on whether journalists are exposed to more danger on covering state affairs and are at risk of losing their lives if their investigations are discovered
Majority of respondents agreed that journalists face a lot of danger while covering stories that involve the government and that they would face murder or assassination at some point, with a frequency of 33 or 68.7 percent. Further investigation revealed that most journalist who have already covered some stories about the government have been demoted while others permanently barred from accessing some media facilities. However, the remaining 15 or 31.3 percent disagreed to the statement and claimed that they themselves were subjected to some form of test that measured their patriotism and competence with the government.
Respondents on whether journalists are exposed to more danger on covering state affairs and are at risk of losing their lives if their investigations are discovered
4.4.6 Respondents on whether journalists should be allowed to form bodies which would cater for their rights and not the government through the parliament
44 respondents agreed that all bodies formed by the government should be disbanded and new ones created by the journalists. This is because, the new bodies formed by the journalists would be able to meet the set objectives and work in favor of the journalists working environment. A probe into their responses revealed that this would be made possible if the parliamentary committees would allow journalists to contribute in policy making on matters relating to journalists. However, 4 respondents somewhat disagreed citing that there were instances when the government would easily channel their authority and influence these bodies that journalists would have created.
Respondents on whether journalists should be allowed to form bodies which would cater for their rights and not the government through the parliament
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
The media policy and regulations as provided by the law does not perform its duties in regard to the practice of journalism. Occasionally, as provided by the respondents there are a number of factors which should be brought to consideration, steadfast, to ensure that journalists have a free and appropriate environment to exercise their professionalism.
However, to ensure that all the rules and policies are followed, the government has forgotten that we are working on another platform since the digital migration in 2015. Working on a Media Act of Kenya 2013 is sort of outdated and will mean to limit most journalists from accessing specific advantages that may facilitate appropriate release of data and information. It may be very important if the media act was updated, to favor and be in concurrence with other laws and regulations provided by other media governing bodies such as Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK).
For the journalists, sensitization needs to be done. By the study, most journalists work in media houses without the full knowledge of what they are privileged on the Media Policy. Just like the Code of Ethics, every journalist has the responsibility of equipping themselves with the contents of the media policy of Kenya. It should run in their fingertips and they should be ready to defend and protect their selves from being exploited and denied their full authority into the practice of journalism in Kenya.
- For the success of media in Independence should be given an upper hand and the government should distance itself from the practices of the media.
- The government should create a specific body that will be dealing with media policies and regulation and be renewed after every five years or let the journalists come with their own body which will govern their practices.
- The government should supply enough media policy materials detailed with information about media coverage in Kenya,
- The constitution should be followed in creating the media policy and regulations that work to favor and support the practice of journalism which should be updated after every year to favor the working environment of the journalists.
- The bodies responsible for the safety of journalists should be ready to back-up the journalists and defend their actions whenever a scandal occurs.
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