Foreign Ownership, Local Dynamics: The Media System in Kenya

  • Muhammad Jameel Yusha’u


The media system in Kenya is the subject of this chapter. Kenya has a unique media landscape in Africa with strong foreign ownership from colonial to postcolonial times. Indians, Europeans and now politicians dominate media ownership in Kenya with consequences on press freedom and media autonomy. The chapter discusses the history of Kenya which has strong bearing on the media system. Such influence includes the Mau Mau uprising, the one party state under Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel Arap Moi, and the role played by the media in returning the country to the era of multiparty elections. The influence of ethnicity and regionalism in Kenyan politics and post-election violence are among the issues discussed. This historical context is then analysed within the media systems theory proposed by Hallin and Mancini (Comparing media systems: three models of media and politics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge/New York, 2004). The discussion concludes that the Kenyan media system is closer to the Polarised Pluralist Model, but with strong features of the Liberal Model due to private ownership of the media.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Jameel Yusha’u
    • 1
  1. 1.Uni Focus AcademyKanoNigeria

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