The Portrayal of Kenya’s Security, Governance and Economic
Kimencu, Moses Mongai
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Since the end of the Cold War in 1989 that witnessed the collapse of the Eastern Socialist bloc, thus leaving the United States of America as the sole super power, ideological considerations have ceased to be the points of reference in the formulation of foreign policies across nations. Moreover, international media have also upgraded their reportage by moving away from ideological framing of news to issues of human rights, democracy, economic development, security and technology. However, various Kenyan stakeholders have disputed the credibility of many news reports on Kenya’s security, governance and economic issues by the two leading Western media channels i.e. CNN and BBC. It is those disputes that inform the need for this study. The research, which is premised on the assumption that media information is a major power in shaping global opinions, interrogates the portrayal of Kenya’s security, governance and economic issues by CNN and BBC within the post Cold War dispensation. Among other objectives, this research seeks to examine the impact of the reports to the country’s image. This study applies agenda setting theory of media which posits that media may not tell you what to think but it could tell you what to think about, and realism theory of international relations which argues that states relate with other states for their own selfish interests. This research relies entirely on secondary literature and adopts qualitative data collection method. The study uses the explorative research design to explore media websites, review of documents, and use of audio visual materials. It uses critical discourse analysis and content analysis design to analyze various media content about Kenya. The findings of this study could be a crucial guide to the policy makers in the country on the most prudent method of engaging with the international media. Among other recommendations, this study highlights the need for Kenya and by extension Africa to establish a giant media channel with a global command, at the level of CNN and BBC, which will be able to adequately present both negative and positive issues about the African states.