Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com.

History Of Media In Kenya Media Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 1513 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

Reference this

Radio was first developed in 1920 and it was strictly used by the military. David sternoff had an idea of selling radio sets to consumers and RCA was the first to set up radio station all over the country in United States.

Mass media means reaching a large number of audiences, the term mass media was coined in 1920, with the introduction of many nationwide radio networks; it was improved by the circulation of many newspapers and magazines.

Mass media include internet, media like video sharing, message boards, podcasts and blogs.

Marshal McLuhan brought up the idea that the “the medium is the message’. In the past drama were the first mass media in the ancient world and it was used by numerous cultures.

Diamond Sutra was the first printed book and it was printed in china in 868D. Many books were then printed in ancient times.

In 1041 in China, movable clay type was invented; the first printed mass- medium was European popular prints that were printed from about 1400.

Johannes Gutenberg printed his book in 1453 on a printing press using movable clay type. Newspapers were developed from about 1612, with the first example in English in 1620.

During the 20th century mass medium, has really improved due to advanced technology, for example; printing, film duplication and record pressing.

History of Media in Kenya.

The media in Kenya is a diverse and vibrant growing industry, which has been facing and is still facing an uncertain future.

The political transmission from British colony to independent country was mirrored by many changes in mass media in Kenya. In 1963 when Kenya become independent, the vast majority of Kenya owned television and radio stations were British and American programmes.

Kenya culture was promoted vie the mass media under the late president of Kenya Jomo Kenyatta and more programmes were broadcasted in Swahili.

The press really suffered during the governance of the former president Daniel Moi and his one party state, which was written into the constitution in 1982, more journalists were arrested and imprisoned, because the state was worried with the media people challenging the government.

The scene of oppression changed and the press expanded with the birth of multi- party politics in 1992, this was a response to pressure of activists and with the help of the international communities.

Daily newspapers increased to four, the person daily was set up, and the gutter also emerged. Harsh criticisms of the state by the press went with the emergency of opposition politics. Journalist were still oppressed, intimidated and imprisoned by the government.

A new unpopular was passed in May 2002 and it required publishers to purchase a bond for one million Kenya shillings, before publishing it. This move scared publishers because it was expensive for them to publish any magazine.

There are four major daily newspapers published in Kenya and this are:

The daily Nation- it was established in 1960 and it is published by the Nation media group. The first paper was seen as the champion during the governance of the former president Daniel Moi.

Nation media owns Nation T.V and the East African which is a regional weekly paper with its core market in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It is the largest media house in central and East Africa.

The standard formerly known as the East African standard was established in 1902. Nowadays the standard is the critic of the government policies, it is owned by the group of businessmen associated with the former president Daniel Moi.

Kenya times was established in 1983 by the KANU party.

A person daily was established in 1992, it is owned by Kenneth Matiba.


The first broadcast targeted white settlers who monitored news from their home country and other parts of the world. The first radio broadcast targeting Africans was started in 1953; it was called African Broadcasting services and carried programmes in Kiswahili, dholuo, kikuyu, Nandi, kamba and Arabic.

The Kenya broadcasting services was established in 1954, and the regional stations were set up in Mombasa [Sauti ya Mvita] and Kisumu [lake station] in 1961.

There are more than 63 FM stations in Kenya that has been licensed. Radio stations mainly operate in Nairobi and its surrounding areas. The broadcasts of most commercial radio stations are made up of entertainment, phone ins programmes, talk shows and interviews.


Television was introduced in Kenya in 1962 and the first transmitting station was in Limuru transmitting over only a radius of 15 miles.

On 1st July, 1964 through an act of parliament Kenya broadcasting corporation was nationalized and renamed the voice of Kenya.

In 1970 V.O.K opened a new television station in Mombasa to relay programmes and produce local dramas, music, culture and other programmes.

In 1989, the Kenya parliament gave autonomy to V.O.K and changed the name to K.B.C. K.B.C known as channel one, pay television channel 2 and metro television channel 31, which is usually an Entertainment television.

K.T.N, {Kenya television network] become the first private television station in Kenya. It started broadcasting in 1989 and it is owned by a group of businessmen.

Citizen T.V is owned by a businessman Samuel Macharia.

Press law.

Kenya does not have a press law; the press law is a carryover of what was since the colonial government. What passes for media law in Kenya is a general section 79 of the constitution that states;

Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, that is to say, freedom hold opinions without interference. Freedom to receive ideas and information without interference and freedom to communicate ideas.

There is nothing in the constitution that refers explicit to the media.

Media censorship.

There is freedom of expression that is stated in the constitution of Kenya ARTICLE 33; it states that every person has the right to seek, receive or impart information or ideas, freedom of artistic creativity and academic freedom and freedom of scientific research.

Censorship is merely to help journalist perform their work well, they should be able to report news or write stories which have correct facts and figures.

Media censorship is mainly for checking; vulgarity, violence and racism media censorship sees to it that the media is not used as a tool to attack, discriminate and humiliate people.

The government that come into power n 2002 with the leader of president Mwai Kibaki has failed to fulfill its promise for the reform of media legislation.

The former information minister Mutahi Kagwe, in August 2007 introduced the Media Bill to parliament which would establish a media regulatory board and media advisory board, which will replace the independent media council in Kenya.

This bill allows the information minister to appoint chairman and the members of the new government funded body. The new body will register all journalists and the government license media, so that they can exert authority over them.

The media bill provokes hostility among the media practioneers and owners especially in the case of the editors to reveal their sources, if there reports become the subject of court cases.

Media owners, civil society groups and the law society opposed the bill because it was putting many pressure and it was totally against the freedom of expression.

Late August 2007, the bill was passed but later rejected by the president on the round that the bill limited the confidentiality of sources and therefore it was a threat to press freedom.

The Communications Commission of Kenya [CCK] is the independent regulatory body that gives license register journalists and regulates television, radio, telecommunication and postal services.

CCK is overseen by the Ministry of information, so that its independence is limited.

There are non- state media regulatory bodies, like the media council of Kenya which was set up in 2004 and it’s a key campaigner for a self regulatory system.

Kenya Union of Journalist, editor’s guild and Kenya correspondents association have set up media industry steering committee.


Media is not static it is dynamic. With the introduction of new technology, media has really improved. The Kenya constitution should allow media practionerers to do their work without any limitations so that they can be able to collect their information well without revealing their sources.

The introduction of many FM stations helps the media industry to advance and reach many people especially those in rural areas.

Media will be and continue reaching the mass media through radio, television, internet and cable networking.


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: