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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines how the Kenyan press has adapted to a constantly changing political landscape and media ecosystem, from the colonial period to Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidency. It interrogates the roles of key actors over this period—press owners, journalists, and successive political regimes—whose interests have helped to shape the moral and practical trajectories of reporting. Using the Daily Nation and The Standard newspapers as case studies, the chapter argues that despite the constantly waxing and waning relationship between the media and the government over time, the press in Kenya is part of ideological state apparatuses and other hegemonic structures that help to “manufacture consent” amid broader discourse over the place of democracy in Kenya’s elections. It concludes that the press was founded to secure and enhance the interests of its owners, not to expand the bounds of debate and expression.

Keywords: democracy, elections, media, newspapers, Daily Nation, The Standard

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