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REPORT ON PEACE CONTENT IN KENYA's VERNACULAR RADIO STATIONS

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REPORT ON PEACE CONTENT IN KENYA's VERNACULAR RADIO STATIONS Powered By Docstoc
					                 Nurturing Nationhood through

                           Peace Media


                 Analysing Peace related programming
                     in Community Radio Stations


                                 Compiled by:
                              Eliud K Situma
                          John Harrington Ndeta




PeaceNet Kenya                                    Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
                   Copyright © PeaceNet-Kenya
                           April 2010

     All rights reserved.
     No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means,
     electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the
     prior permission of the copyright owner.




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PeaceNet Kenya                                              Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
                      Acknowlegement
    We sincerely thank our 20 media Monitors selected and trained to

    monitor 10 vernacular/community radio stations across Kenya. Without

    your devotion, we would not have a report to write home about.



    Secondly our appreciation goes to Oxfam GB for fully funding this study.

    Third to all PeaceNet Staff who offered technical advice on how best

    to implement the project. Benjamin Kazule, Olga Mutoro, Simon Kinyati,

    Grace Ireri, Philip Onguje and Mutuku Nguli were particularly key in

    steering the project to its completion.



    Last but not least, I wish to thank Nadescor Strategic for providing us with

    a lead Consultant, Mr. Eliud Situma who worked tirelessly in guiding the

    entire research process.




PeaceNet Kenya                                           Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
                                    Table of Contents
1.0 Introduction........................................................................................................................1
      1.1       General Objective .................................................................................................2
      1.2       Specific Study objectives ......................................................................................2
      1.3       Hypotheses .............................................................................................................3
      1.4       Research questions ..............................................................................................3
2.0 Literature Review..............................................................................................................4
      2.1       Role of the vernacular stations ..........................................................................6
      2.2       Music in Vernacular Stations ...............................................................................8
3.0             Methodology ...........................................................................................................9
      3.1       Content Analysis Method.....................................................................................9
      3.1.1 Allocation of administrative boundaries............................................................9
      3.1.2 Mau Evictions..........................................................................................................9
      3.1.3 President’s decision to reverse the Prime Minister’s (PM) decision........10
      3.1.4 The Appointment of the TJRC Chairman.......................................................10
      3.2       Survey Method .....................................................................................................11
      3.3       Sampling..................................................................................................................11
      3.4       Sampling Procedure                       .....................................................................................11
      3.5       Coders ,Training and Reliability ......................................................................11
      3.6       Unit of analysis and coding procedures...........................................................11
      3.7       Data Reduction and Analysis..............................................................................12
4.0             Study Findings .....................................................................................................13
                Demographic findings..........................................................................................13
      4.1       Percentage score on News Accuracy..............................................................13
      4.2       Percentage Score on Radio Station Fairness ................................................14
      4.3       Percentage score on Media Objectivity .........................................................15
      4.4       Weekday Trend on Peace Related Programmes..........................................17


PeaceNet Kenya                                                      ii                          Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
      4.5    Percentage of Peace Advocators in Vernacular F.M Radio Stations........18
      4.6    Percentage of Perpetrators and Order restorers as portrayed in the
             Vernacular Stations ............................................................................................18
      4.7    Percentage Score on Conflict Invisible Effect Discussed in the F.M
             Stations ..................................................................................................................18
4.8          Overall Percentage Score on the Depth of Coverage of Peace and
             Conflict Related Issues ......................................................................................20
      4.9    Percentage Score on Various Topics Covered on the F.M
             Stations ..................................................................................................................21


      4.9.1 Percentage Score on Coverage of the Sampled Media Station ................21
      4.9.2 Percentage Score on the Gender of the Source of Subject
             Discussed...............................................................................................................23
      4.9.3 Percentage Score of the Contreversial Agenda Over the Period of
             Study .....................................................................................................................24
5.0 Conclusion and Recommendations ...........................................................................25
      5.1    Conclusion                 .....................................................................................................25
      5.2    Recommendations ..............................................................................................25




PeaceNet Kenya                                                    iii                          Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
                        1.0 Introduction

Peace and Development Network Trust- Kenya (PeaceNet-Kenya) and The Seed
Institute commissioned the “Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media” study
to assess the extent to which Vernacular/Community Radio stations cover peace
programmes.


The study gauged perceptions of audience as well as systematically quantified media
content on indicators such as accuracy, fairness, objectivity and independence.


As part of PeaceNet Kenya’s role in peace building and Conflict resolution, the
research sought to evaluate variables such as: the depth of coverage of conflict
issues, percentages of order restorers’, and the radio trends in addressing restorative
justice in Kenya as well as the cultural transformation fronted by the media.


Nurturing Nationhood through peace media was hinged on a school of thought that
constitutional and institutional reforms will not guarantee Kenya peace and stability-
a cultural reform is critical if Kenya with cultural diversity is to hold together. The
media is a critical agent of social control with a strong power to influence decisions,
shape emotions as well as dictate to some reasonable point on how people behave
and act. In terms of shaping the political culture, the most critical media in Kenya
today is the vernacular radio stations which largely play loaded vernacular music.


In the past, agents of doom have by design or default, abused the power of this media
and caused a lot of damage. Owing to a tendency of piecemeal media monitoring and
content analysis, this abuse has gone unnoticed with catastrophic consequences.

A scan of the current content coming out of some vernacular songs and some
programs in the FM radio stations points to a trend where some musicians and
guests in some FM stations propagate messages of victimhood that is likely to
destroy other than bridge cross-ethnic bridges.


PeaceNet Kenya                                           Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
Existing controls/standards specific to content and conduct of media houses focus
more on seeking a balanced representation of views on any specific subject, therefore
ensuring fairness in its programmes and news. They however have limited focus
on conflict sensitivity of the choice of topics and news items and on how they are
presented.


For this reason; which is more pronounced in the vernacular FM stations, there
is widespread use of idioms that connote celebration of hatred and division in
society rather than nationhood. There is no existing tool specifically designed for
monitoring the use of language, its idioms and expressions in generally accepted ways
that promote and entrench stereotypes and hatred among the Kenyan public. And
because they do not necessarily fall within the umbrella of the kind of complaints
that both the Media Owners Association (MOA) and the Media Council of Kenya
(MCK) would receive so often, and considering that there is general acceptance of
such idioms amongst the target audience of these specific FM stations; they have
never been taken up even by those sections of the audience aware of the ultimate
consequences of allowing such content to pervade airwaves.


1.1	        General	Objective
This study seeks to assess the performance of the vernacular radio stations in
nurturing peace through their programming and content in order to recommend
ways of nurturing nationhood through peace media.

1.2	        Specific	Study	objectives		
           1.    To monitor the broadcast content among the vernacular/community
                 FM radio stations.


           2.    To systematically and quantitatively analyze hate and inflammable
                 content in the vernacular radio stations using scientific procedures
                 and techniques.

           3.    To gauge the level of objectivity, fairness, independence and accuracy
                 in vernacular/community FM radio stations.


PeaceNet Kenya                                            Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
           4.    To point out stereotypes and prejudices used to advance divisive
                 messages.


           5.    To gauge the level of patriotic reporting and messaging evident in the
                 media stations.


1.3	       Hypotheses
           1.    FM Radio stations set the agenda in the public domain.


           2.    The vernacular/community FM radio stations play a critical role in
                 governance


           3.    Decency, objectivity and truth are important tenets in journalism


1.4	       Research	questions
           1.    What content is currently available on the vernacular radio station?


           2.    How does the content available compare to the theme of national
                 cohesion?




PeaceNet Kenya                                            Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
                 2.0 Literature Review
Origin of vernacular/Ccommunity FM stations in Kenya
In any democratic country, it’s a prerequisite that its citizens access information
on topical issues that concern them so as to make informed democratic choices
(Deane 2006). Access to information also enables the people to actively participate
in public discussions on issues that affect them.

This was not the case in Kenya for a long time and communication had been limited
to two official languages that in essence locked out the majority of people especially
in the rural areas who could not comprehend English nor Kiswahili.

Most of these people could have been well served if they had mass media in their
local languages. The trend changed in 1996, when the government started licensing
independent broadcasters that challenged the state-owned Kenya Broadcasting
Corporation (KBC). Before this time KBC used to be the only broadcaster in
the country that also offered some broadcast programmes in the main country’s
vernacular languages like like the Kikuyu, Dholuo, Kalenjin, Luhya amongst others.


This clearly shows that most of the audiences had no such channels to articulate
their thoughts and participate fully in any public debate in the country as the State-
owned media did not cater for all the Kenyan Communities. At this time, feedback
from the audiences was minimal if any as KBC had other government oriented
programmes. This meant that the flow of information was somehow one sided as
the government tried to inform its citizens on its agendas.

Programming during this time was skewed to align with the government agenda in
total disregard to audience needs.This started changing in 1996 with the licencing
of private media in Kenya.

At first the licenses were issued to carefully selected groups of government
supporters, but this softened in 1999 when the independent Nation Media Group
was issued with a license. By this time, there were at least 13 private radio stations
broadcasting around the country hence widening the trend that started in 1996.

PeaceNet Kenya                                          Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
None of these stations though, had the national reach as that of KBC as they were
granted licenses that sharply restricted their geographical range. This shows that
until this time most of the audiences in the rural areas and other under-literate
groups were still being disadvantaged due to language barrier as English and Kiswahili
remained the channel of communication in the Kenyan society.


The first vernacular FM radion station; Kameme, which broadcast in Kikuyu language
was started in 2000 and broke the monopoly on local language broadcasting. This
was met with a lot of opposition nationally with many opining that it was likely to
cause disharmony by stirring ethnic conflict.


However, a law was passed in 2004 that liberalized the media industry and this
paved the way for many other vernacular FM radio stations that targeted listeners
from their ethnic communities. Some of these stations included: KASS FM and
Chamge for Kalenjin , Kameme, Inooro and Coro for the Kikuyu, Ramogi and Lake
Victoria FM for the Luo, Mulembe FM and West FM for Luhya, Mbaitu and Musyi
FM for Kamba and Muuga for the Meru speakers.


Most of these vernacular FM radio stations focused on music and entertainment
but this was to quickly shift to public discussions due to audience demand. The
stations have therefore set aside much of their airtime to talk-shows and phone-in
programmes especially in the morning.


Nearly all the FM stations had highly popular talk shows and phone-in programmes,
often in the morning prime time slots. For example Ramogi- Baraza meaning
information assembly, Lake Victoria FM- just say it, KASS FM had Lee Nee Emeet
(what does the country say) the Kikuyu language Inooro FM, had Hagaria (sharpen)
and Kameme FM had main phone-in show Arahuka (wake-up).

The talk shows slowly became outlets for public debates and were used as an
expression of voices that had been suppressed for a long time. In these voices, one
could easily detect anger, dissatisfaction and demands for change.



PeaceNet Kenya                                           Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
2.1	        Role	of	the	vernacular	stations	
The vernacular/community FM radio stations are involved in mass communication
like any other mass media. Here they are supposed to carry out the various
functions that go along with the mass audience: they include the surveillance of the
environment (collection and distribution of information), correlation of parts of the
society (interpretation), education and transmission of social change, persuasion,
entertainment and mobilization.


When these stations started operating many Kenyans especially in the rural areas
had an opportunity to effectively interact with their fellow citizens through the
various channels now available. Through the famous phone-ins and talk show
programmes, many audiences were easily facilitated to air their views on any topical
issues under discussion without any professional scrutiny.


Most of the vernacular radio stations are privately owned and in essence this means
that any information that is aired in most instances is skewed towards the owners
interests.


Apart from this, the editorial staff is thin and is to a large extent not qualified to
undertake the responsibilities that are expected of them. This is largely due to
owners wanting to minimize on costs thus indirectly affecting the quality of what is
being disseminated to their various audiences.


The role of gate-keeping that is essentially done by the said editors is compromised
and the information that is churned out to the listeners is biased. The result of this
poor and unqualified editorial material disadvantages the consumers as they are
likely to be influenced negatively by believing in misinformation especially where
critical decisions affecting them are concerned.
Despite the fact that privatization of the mass media in the 1990s fundamentally
opened the door to many players, the outcome has not been entirely positive. There
is a general feeling that the so called Fourth Estate has colluded with economic and
political interests at the expense of the common citizenry; investors in the industry
are said to be treating the channels of democratic debate as their own personal

PeaceNet Kenya                                          Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
property. Professionalism among the practicing cadre of journalists is suspect. Little
or no effort is being made to promote local programming on social issues. “The
government is in the process of establishing a committee to point out the way
forward. By so doing, the government has no intention to control the media. The
intention however, is to look at the laws we have in place and how they can be
improved,” promised the government spokesman, Dr. Alfred Mutua.

Through FM stations, it is said that the reporting culture, premised on gathering
and verifying information, is being increasingly overrun by sensational programmed
formats. Many of the new media especially the vernacular radio stations are engaged
in commentating on information rather than gathering it.

The economics of the new media demand that products be produced as cheaply
as possible. Commentary, chat, speculation, opinion, argument, controversy and
punditry, cost for less than the rigorous process of gathering and or verifying
information. “It is important for journalists to read and analyze issues if they hope
to perform well in their roles”, advises Dr. P.L.O Lumumba. “Society expects them
to report knowledgeably, fairly and truthfully. He who holds a pen holds a gun in
his hands and can choose to use it to build or to destroy. Journalists should read
the documents which form the basis of a review process, analyze and then pose
questions to the relevant authorities for clarification”, said the former Secretary of
the constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC).

According to the Media Debates (2005), it is widely observed that anyone can now
pick up a phone and call a radio station to air their views and concerns about issues.
Indeed, as a result of this interactive culture, an audience that was once docile and
passive has now been transformed into a focused and engaged public. Many people
today are bold enough to talk about corruption, poor governance and many other
social concerns without fear. Consequently, the primary values of journalism stress
accuracy, truthfulness, fairness and balance. In addition, those who feel aggrieved by
media reports ought to be given a chance to be heard. However, these values seem
to have been disregarded by the new media stations. Presenters are not interested
in verifying facts. The principle of keeping fact separate from suspicion and analysis
is no longer honored.


PeaceNet Kenya                                           Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
Most of the poorest in Kenya - especially those most marginalized from political
and economic power - have least access to information on issues that shape their
lives in languages they best understand. They have historically had very few channels
through which they can communicate their perspective into public debate. The
local language stations - almost all of which have emerged in the last four years in a
chaotic environment - have provided just such a channel.

Years of pent up frustration have found their voice on these radio stations which
- because they were set up principally as commercial entertainment vehicles - have
struggled to mediate the complex and angry debates that have ensued.

The popularity of talk shows and phone-ins has made them a mainstay of
programming, but the period immediately following the election resulted in radio
stations effectively losing control over their own programming. The result - largely
preventable - was appalling hate speech.

2.2	        Music	in	Vernacular	Stations
Music is practically the most significant feature and means of self-identification
of the lives of adolescents and youngsters. Its forming power is extraordinary
strong. Especially at the times of economical crisis when people start scape goating
vulnerable groups, it is quite dangerous for our societies if the lyrics contain ethnic
and anti-cohesion slogans. The vernacular radio stations in Kenya should ensure
that the content is not insulting, discriminating, or humiliating.


Hate music is a threat. It incites violence. Ignoring the problem means that hate can
grow in the middle of society without being confronted. The limit of tolerance is
reached not only when the text contains elements of a criminal offence but when it
violates the dignity of any human being. Any expressions of hate in public can never
be tolerated.




PeaceNet Kenya                                           Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
                       3.0 Methodology

The study used multi-methods and techniques to capture data as described below.

3.1		      Content	Analysis	Method
This involved a systematic and quantitative analysis of manifest content of local FM
stations .The stations included. West FM, Inooro Fm, Pamoja FM, Egesa FM, Ghetto
Radio,Kass FM, Lake Victoria FM, Muuga FM, Baraka FM .


The units of analysis were programmes focusing on peace and conflict related
subjects which mainly involved the discussions on Mau evictions, allocation of
administrative boundaries, and proliferation of illegal arms, President’s decision to
reverse the Prime Minister’s (PM) decision to dismiss the alleged corrupt ministers,
the proposed new constitution and the controversial appointment of Truth Justice
and Reconciliation Commision (TJRC) chairman.

3.1.1		 Allocation	of	Administrative	Boundaries
President Kibaki appointed the Ligale-led Commission on Boundaries Review through
a gazette notice dated May 12, 2009. Since then the allocation of administrative
boundaries has elicited a heated debate in Kenya From media reports, this committee
has really been drawing big and fervent crowds during its sittings hence worthy
monitoring on how the vernacular stations covered the issue. The Constitution
entitles the team to making recommendations for review of administrative and
electoral boundaries. Basically, this means that their mandate includes redrawing
the boundaries of provinces, districts, constituencies and civic wards.

3.1.2		Mau	Evictions
The Mau eviction was as a result of the government effort to reclaim the illegally
allocated forest land. Those who had allegedly acquired the forest land were asked
to leave the forest in order to enable the government to conserve one of iKenya’s
main water catchment areas.




PeaceNet Kenya                                          Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
3.1.3		 President’s	decision	to	reverse	the	Prime	Minister’s	
(PM)	decision
The Kenyan Prime Minister, Rt Hon Raila Odinga suspended Agriculture Minister,
Wiliam Ruto and his Education counterpart Prof Sam Ongeri after the two were
accused of corruption. The President, His Excellency Mwai Kibaki however, reversed
the decision by the PM, claiming that he is the only one who had constitutional
powers to do so.

3.1.4		 The	Appointment	of	the	TJRC	Chairman
The formation of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission elicited mixed
reactions. Some Kenyans felt the formed commission lacks credibility, while others
supported it. Involvement in the past atrocities and lack of a credible record in
defending historical injustices were leveled against some of the commissioners. The
TJRC aims to realize the new political and social order. Its act realizes that since
independence there has occurred in Kenya gross violation of human rights, abuse
of power and misuse of office. The commission is therefore focused to deal with
crimes against humanity.


The study analyzed subjects discussed between 29th Jan 2010-19th Feb 2010
The study captured the following as indicators for analysis:
     • Name of the station
     • Time of broadcast
     • Time devoted to the subject
     • Voices involved in peace building
     • Perpetrator of violence
     • Accuracy
     • Balance of the subject
     • Fairness of the broadcast
     • Visible effects of violence covered
     • Orientation of the subject
     • Depth of the subject covered
     • Dichotomization of the subject
     • Anticipated options covered in the subject




PeaceNet Kenya                          0              Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
3.2				Survey	Method
This involved interviewing and analysis of the sampled audience .The study used self
administered questionnaires to capture data.

3.3	       Sampling
The population of interest was 10 FM stations .To ensure representativeness of
the final sampling framework, a preliminary survey was carried out to assess the
listenership trend. The stations sampled were chosen so that objectiveness could
be achieved.

3.4	       Sampling	Procedure
Purposive sampling procedure was employed. Some of the factors that guided
purposive sampling included
      •    Percentage score on Listenership
      •    The target audience of each respective radio station

Due to constraint of time and funds, secondary data from other like-minded research
firms was utilized to gauge the listenership trend. However, in some regions,
random responses to the question ‘Which radio station has highest listenership?’
were utilized to decide on the FM stations to be studied.

3.3	      Coders,Training		and	Reliability
A code sheet was prepared by the lead consultant. Communication research
assistants served as coders. The coders participated in a one day training session
where the coding procedures and content category definitions were discussed.
Prior to coding actual sampled stations coders met individually with the consultant
to address any anticipated challenges. Two coders (working on the principle of
anonymity) were assigned each radio station to ensure objectivity of the results
Discrepancies were discussed and consensus reached.

3.4	     Unit	of	analysis	and	coding	procedures
Coders were instructed to identify whether specific types of content (hate and
inflammable content) was aired. Notable outlines in the code sheet included
Reporting of motive hate speech e.g. Implied or confirmed.Emotive presentation
which included three categories:
                1. Presentation of fear e.g. if words were explicitly stated about
                    fear

PeaceNet Kenya                                         Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
                   2. Sensationalism
                          a. Involving famous people
                          b. Comical stories
                          c. Vivid descriptions – “bizarre”
                   3. Presentation of outrage or sympathy
                          a. Explicit statements made                  by      reporters          or
                              interviewees


Some content categories were nominally coded and some were coded as ratio
measures with counts being made of the times that particular type of content was
aired. In order to address hypotheses listed above, ‘hate speech’ was conceptually defined
as. A controversial term for speech intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or
prejudicial action against a group of people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin,
religion, sexual orientation, or disability.

3.5	        Data	Reduction	and	Analysis
Data was entered in SPSS for analysis. Nominal variables were coded as `1’ if the
actual hate messages are present and ‘0’ if balanced messages are broadcasted




PeaceNet Kenya                                              Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
                   4.0 Study Findings
Demographic	findings
A total of 10 radio stations were inducted into the study. Of the total 355
programmes analyzed, the following were respective programmes analyzed per
each sampled station.
            • West FM                   -        (2.3%)
            • Ghetto FM                 -        (9.6%)
            • Baraka FM                 -        (5.9%)
            • Musyi FM                  -        (14.1%)
            • Egesa FM                  -        (14.4%)
            • Inooro FM                 -        (15.2%)
            • Muuga FM                  -        (8.7%)
            • Kass FM                   -        (13.8%)
            • Lake Victoria             -        (7.6%)
            • Pamoja                    -        (8.5%)
The survey captured audiences who were either media practitioners or
communication students of various cadres as follows:
            • Correspondents            -        (40.2%)
            • Communication Students             (29.3%)
            • Reporters                 -        (21%)
            • Freelance writers         -        (3%)
            • Sub editors               -        (4.5%)
            • Editors                   -        (2%)
Figure 4.1




PeaceNet Kenya                                  Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
The investigation sought to ascertain the levels of accuracy in reporting and general
broadcasting of news among vernacular radio stations by analyzing the content and
determining whether it was based on facts or perception. The figure above indicates
that West FM scored as the most accurate in its content followed closely L.Victoria
while Kass FM was rated as the least accurate. In general the mean percentage
score on news accuracy for the stations in the study was 77.5% this implies that
of the entire news content broadcast, only 22.5% was found not to be based on
verifiable facts.

Figure 4.2




The study was based on the ability of a station to exhaustively and accurately
report on two sides of any given story and be able to give any aggrieved party
the right to reply. This investigation also focused on ascertaining the possibility of
thorough research on any information prior to its broadcast. West FM was highly
rated in fairness at 85% followed closely by Baraka FM at 83%. The least rated
station on fairness was Pamoja FM at 60%. The overall rating of the vernacular
stations on fairness was 73.3%.




PeaceNet Kenya                                          Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
Table 4.3

Percentage score on Media Objectivity




Media objectivity entails a media free of bias. An objective new story/subject is
seen as one where the reporter discusses both sides of the story and keeps his
or her own opinion out of the story completely. But is pure objectivity possible?
The findings above indicate that most vernacular stations strive towards achieving
objectivity .For instance, the survey conducted shows that 8.5% perceived Lake
Victoria as very independent 12% perceived Kass FM as somewhat independent



PeaceNet Kenya                                       Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
while 26.1% viewed Pamoja radio as not independent at all. When we probed on
the constraints towards achieving objectivity the following factors were stated.


   1. Decisions of News Framing
        News Framing has become one of the greatest challenges in covering peace
        and conflict related issues. For instance journalist who were inducted into
        the study and have previously covered violence stated their inadequacies
        in which part of the story to tell. For instance whether to talk about the
        combatants or the civilians whose region is under fire. or talk about how
        prisoners of war or other non combatants have been tortured. All of these
        approaches may be perfectly factual-- but there’s no way a news outlet can
        cover all of this. The decision on how to frame, or tell, a story makes an
        impact on public perception as well.


   2. Decisions of Newsworthiness.	 The presenters need to decide which
      subjects to include and which to leave out. This is especially true given the
      limited airtime limited in radio. It’s very difficult to make a purely objective
      decision about what’s newsworthy and what’s not.


   3. Decisions of Priority. Most journalists find themselves at a crossroad
      on whether to put an issue/subject news headline or bury it somewhere in
        between the broadcast. The level of priority given to a news story makes
        a huge impact on the public’s perception, and yet it’s very difficult to make
        an objective decision about which stories/subjects are more important than
        others.


   4. Decisions of Marketability
        Journalists working for vernacular FM stations often struggle between
        conflicting demands in the newsroom, the need to provide the public with
        newsworthy subjects, and the need to produce subjects that are marketable.
        A story might seem very important, but if it is one that might bore the target
        audience or might be too controversial, it may not get covered. These kinds
        of decisions are certainly subjective. Most working journalists are committed


PeaceNet Kenya                                          Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
       to the principle of objectivity. They make a strong effort to report news free
       of bias that is as useful as possible to the public. However, the public needs
       to be aware of the constraints that make true objectivity a difficult goal, and
       consume news critically.


  Figure 4.4




In order to be able to capture relevant information in regard to the main objective
of the study, it was imperative that a survey on the frequency of peace related
broadcast be carried out. This included the analysis of virtually all programs that
were monitored for instance, music content, news broadcast, call-in shows and talk
shows among others. The figure illustrates the trend on peace related programmes
with the highest percentage representing the time period of 10–1 pm. This shows
that peace related topics were highly discussed at this time and least discussed in
the evening that is 6 – 9 pm.




PeaceNet Kenya                                          Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
Figure 4.5




 The figure above indicates that the panelists invited in the sampled radio stations
played a crucial role in advocating for peace as opposed to the radio presenters
and callers .The panelist scored 30% compared to 10% scored by both presenters
and callers.

Figure 4.6




PeaceNet Kenya                                        Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media
About 36% of politicians sentiments indicated that they were perpetrators of
violence as opposed to 24% who could be termed as order restores.19% of the
content analyzed indicated that the vernacular/community radio stations contribute
positively towards order restoration. Conflict has been evident at grassroots
levels hence the need to gauge the level at which the radio stations and other
players are restoring order. It is expected that politicians, mass media,the branded
terrorist groups, local leaders and other relevant people strive to move the existing
destructive processes towards constructive process. Since most of the afore stated
players have easy access to grassroots they should offer peaceful alternatives to
resolving conflict. Instead of the common ethnic stereotypes eveident in speeches
and other political sentiments we embrace constructs transformations such as;
Pokot - cattle rustlers and militant to cooperative, Kikuyus are greedy and cornmen
to ‘hardworking and enterprising’; Kalenjins are hostile to ‘honest and kind’; Luhyas
are watchmen to humble and strong.


The mass media is expected to call for greater accountability on the part of leaders
and greater democracy which is a pillar to conflict resolution process.

Figure 4.7




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In order to establish the invisible effects of the reported conflicts the investigation
was carried out to estabilish how vernacular radio stations captured the effects.
Among the parameters assesed were trauma and glory, territorial shifts, loss of civil
libertiess, cultural shifts, political shifts among other insignificant variables. About
55% of the content covering the invisible effects of conflict dwelled on political
shifts and only 7% captured cultural shifts.

Figure 4.8




Media objectivity calls for in-depth knowledge of the broadcasted events in relation
to their causes or historical backgrounds, long term effects and or even possible
damages that might arise in future. This would go a long way in assisting relevant
agencies to formulate mitigation measures to avert a possible future repeat of the
same or similar situation. An overwhelming 51% of the content entailed reports
on immediate and timely events .A minimal 12% of the content gave an in-depth
background of the conflict.



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Figure 4.9




This study was designed in order to establish the overall theme and focus of the
vernacular radio stations. The frequency of various topics was monitored for
instance politics and governance, social and legal, war and violence, celebrity art
and music among other insignificant topics whose scope was also monitored. The
figure above indicates that politics and governance had 33% coverage while 18%
war and violence. The other content with notable percentages included music and
legal issues.

Figure 4.9.0




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FM Radio technology is a revolution in both rural and urban Kenya. It has propelled
vernacular radio stations making English and Kiswahili stations almost irrelevant.
Both Kiswahili and English radio stations appeal to the elite and the ruling class
urbanites that for over four decades have used ignorance and foreign languages to
lock out the bulk of the populace from the mainstream socio-economic dispensation
in Kenya.


Consequently, the study sought to find the scope of coverage for the sampled
radio stations and how they have been able to replace the main stream English and
Kiswahili radio stations.


An overwhelming 50% of the content analyzed in the 10 Fm stations was of a
national scope. This implies the vernacular radio stations have a nationwide appeal
as opposed to the previous mentality that Despite the fact that the stations are
based in different provinces only 2% of the content narrowed down to events
and unfolding within the province while only 6% of the content covered purely
international content.


The trend in the scope of coverage indicates that rise of vernacular languages Fm stations
in Kenya is not a curse to the nation and Africa rather a trend in the right direction.
The Indigenous languages have been embraced and given the royalty and the nobility
they deserve especially in peace and conflict oriented activities.


Like South Africa today which has 11 national languages where Afrikaan and English
are at par with other nine indigenous languages like Sotho, Ndebele and Zulu;
Kenya has reached a time that national and official languages need to be extended
to include all the major and regional languages native to Kenya nation.


The media fraternity should however note that they have a duty to restore healthy
relationships as a prerequisite for peaceful interaction among the communities.




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Figure 4.9.1




In spite of the women’s involvement in peace and reconciliation programmes in
kenya only 18% of the sample population were covered in the different programmes
of the vernecular fm stations.An overwhelming 65% of the total coverage focused
on the male gender. Some of the most progressive policies for the advancement of
women on the African continent have been put in place and the media is expected
to complememt these efforts by recognising the unique roles women play.The
patriarchal nature of Kenyan society to a large extent influences the level of media
coverage .These imbalances manifested themselves in the number of subjects on
the radio stations which were sourced from a female gender.


The gender concerns were further exacerbated by the way the female gender was
rated high as victims of violence and conflict.For instance the during the various
recent conflicts in Kenya, they faced threats and blackmail or physical and sexual
assaults, which led to serious physical injuries and in some cases, death. This trend
significantly frustrated the chances of women participating in peace initiatives and
democratic processes.


For instance the content obtained from the sampled FM stations show that during the
Mau evictions the children, adolescents, particularly girls, women were vulnerable


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through displacement, interrupted loss of family and community connections and
rape ended up being recruited as barmaids, house helps other demeaning jobs.


Figure 4.9.2




President reversing the Prime Ministers decision to dismiss the Minister of
Agriculture and Minister of Education after the two ministers were allegedly involved
in corrupt dealings attracted a lot of debate, followed by the presence of illegal arms
in the Rift Valley which had a percentage score of 22%.Allocation of administrative
boundaries had a percentage score of 13% while the controversial appointment in
TJRC attracted 18% coverage.




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      5.0 Conclusion & Recommendations
5.1        Conclusion
Although vernacular/community FM radio stations provide key platforms for
marginalized communities to comment and share views on various agenda, some
stations live talk shows and call-in programmes still disseminate propaganda and
hate speeches. However, most guest panelists positively advocate for peace and
conflict resolution mechanisms.


With the upcoming referendum on the proposed draft constitution, the vernacular
media will continue to play a central role in shaping opinions of the masses and
Kenya’s democracy as a whole.

An understanding of democracy and democratic governance in Kenya is not possible
without a strong understanding of the media’s role in the country. Therefore we
would urge development actors to be better engaged and more supportive of
vernacular media in the future.


Most local language stations in this study (and much of the rest of the media) appear
to have been playing an important role in calming tension and promoting dialogue.
A strengthening of such a role by a genuinely independent media will form a critical
contribution as Kenya navigates the turbulent waters ahead of it. Kenyans should
remember that the vernacular media stations are not designed to serve a specific
community but rather everyone who is able to understand the language being used
in the particular radio station.


5.2    Recommendations
1.     The vernacular/community FM radio stations should discourage politicians
       from using their stations to rally and organize their supporters on issues that
       genuinely concern their communities. In other words they should endeavor
       to use such forums to articulate issues that can improve their communities’
       living standards other than portraying their constituents as the oppressed.


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2.      In order to achieve objectivity where the radio stations presenters will be able
        to discuss both sides of the subjects, the vernacular radio stations journalists
        need to be trained in news framing of conflict oriented subjects. • Training in
        general remains a major priority, Training on conflict reporting is an urgent
        need

3.      The study indicates that most panelists play a crucial role in advocating for
        peace hence the vernacular stations should create more air time for the
        panelists especially at this time when the referendum draws near. Some local
        language radio stations have incited fear and hatred particularly at the height
        of the controversial issues like Mau evictions, allocation of administrative
        boundaries etc. Talk shows have provided the greatest opportunities for
        hate speech and talk show hosts are not trained in conflict reporting or
        moderation However, the invited panelists play a major role in nurturing
        nationhood.

4.      The politicians, mass media and local leaders and other relevant players need
        to move from existing destructive processes and stereotypes evident in the
        vernacular radio content towards constructive process aimed at national
        cohesion.

5.      The Vernacular stations need not only to discuss the visible effects of reported
        conflict but also invisible effects. For instance, trauma and cultural shifts. Such
        in-depth discussion will sensitize the community against violence.

6.      In order to cultivate good media practice, the vernacular stations need to
        examine long term causes and consequences of the conflict. The presenters
        should strive to give an in-depth background of the conflict and the restoration
        mechanisms.

7.      The civil society and the general public to monitor the media especially
        vernacular radio stations to ensure that they are professional and independent
        from partisan agenda, or political and private interests. The media should
        have the capacity to reflect the views of all social groups. In case of breach,
        we should be able to report to Media council for action.

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8.     Media owners and the government need to develop capacities to engage
       in change processes at the interpersonal, inter-group and social structure
       levels. Government needs to allocate funds for peace building and conflict
       training, facilitate community peace building sessions through the vernacular
       radio stations.

9.     The peace ambassadors’ need to envision a framework that holds the
       vernacular stations and the general public together and create a platform
       to address the content, the context, and the structure of the relationship.
       From this platform parties can begin to find creative responses and solutions
       towards nurturing nationhood through peace media.

10.    Vernacular FM radio stations should ensure that they only recruit trained
       journalists who are able to moderate debates professionally. They should
       also invest more in the re-training of their journalists to improve on their
       skills.

11.    The government through the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK)
       should keenly scrutinize the stations ownership to lock out politicians from
       owning any vernacular radio station in an effort to safeguard against misuse,
       political and ethnic prejudice and manipulation of the public.

12.    The Media Council of Kenya that is mandated to oversee the operations in
       the media industry should be strengthened effectively to punish any deviant
       media stations; vernacular or otherwise.

13.    The poor remuneration, status and safety of journalists is hampering a free
       and plural media. Substantial progress in strengthening the media will not be
       possible unless the working conditions of journalists are improved.




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                                       APPENDIX
                   Part I. General Questions
News-outlet: Write down this information once for each fm station.
1.      Coder’s Name/ID................................................................................................
2.      Name and language of FM station..................................................................
3.      Date ..................................................................
4.      Type of the programme..................................................................................
5.      Headline/topic
             a. Politics and Government
             b. Economy
             c. Science & Health
             d. Environment
             e. Social & Legal
             f. War & violence
             g. Celebrity, arts, media /music
             h. Other (incase of a topic /subject write a one-sentence summary)

Note: Sometimes several subjects will be covered within the same story. Choose
the one that is given most prominence - e.g. in terms of the amount of time or
commentary devoted to it.

6.      What is the Scope of news?
        a.     Local: Has importance within the community of the news outlet
        b. Province: Has importance within the province of the news outlet
        c.     National: Has importance within the country of the news outlet
        d. National & other: Involves the country of the news outlet and other
           countries


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       e.    International: involves other countries or the world in general (e.g.,
             global warming)

(Code the widest geographical ‘reach’ that applies: if the event discussed in
the story has both local and national importance, code national.



7. a What is the origin of the programme subject?

   b State the Subject being discussed_______________________

(Identify explicitly, the first person, group or institution quoted or paraphrased)
       a.        Kenya’s President
       b.        Kenya’s Prime Minister
       c.        Other head of government
       d.        Pro- Government politician
       e.        Opposition politician
       f.        Government official/civil servant;
       g.        Government /country, general reference (“Kenya       takes the position that…”)

       h.        Insurgent/terrorist group
       i.        Other ‘villain’, criminal
       j.        Peace activist, antiwar groups
       k.        Other NGOs, humanitarian groups
       l.        Institutional spokesperson (including business)
       m.        Civilians (in general)
       n.        person ‘in the street’,
       o.        Victims, refugees (of crime, violence)
       p.        Witnesses
       q.        Independent experts, analysts, academics, think tanks
       r.        Media, journalists (other than those reporting this story)
       s.        Domestic public, viewers, audiences


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       t.        Foreign/international publics
       u.        Celebrity, entertainer
       v.        ‘Hero’ / ‘Heroine’ in the community

8.      What is the gender of the first source Check one from this list:
       a         Female
       b         Male;
       c         Other source (e.g. institution) _____________________

9.     Is the item/topic/subject contributing to peace-building, conflict or violence/
       good media practice? If NO, stop here and go to the next news item and
       begin again at question 1. If YES, continue with this news item
       a.        No           b.      Yes
       c         Make brief comments to justify the decision in a) above____________
       ______________________________________________________________
       ______________________________________________________________
       ______________________________________________________________
       ______________________________________________________________




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          Part II. Open-ended questions
News items/topics/subjects reporting on Conflict

In this section please give your answers briefly. Please print all your
responses.

1.   What is/was the conflict about?

2.   a    What evidence of efforts were made during the discussion that compromise,
          peace-building and/or peaceful efforts to resolve or prevent the conflict?

     b    By whom?__________________________________________________
          (e.g presenter / callers / panelists)

3.   What context (e.g. causes, effects, and historical background) is given to the
     conflict/ violence?

4.   Who (if anyone) is represented as;

     a.    Aggressor/perpetrator?

     b.    Hero, solution, order-restorer?

     c.     Victim?

5.        Is there any mention of voices and efforts for peace, nonviolent conflict
          resolution, trust-building, reconstruction or reconciliation? Explain.

6    a. What is the role(s) of women in this story?

     b. Are their roles distinct from those of men?

     c    What are the roles of youths in the reconciliation process pointed out in
          the broadcast?




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    Part III. Monitoring of Violence and
               Peace Coverage
(Indicators (questions 1-18

For each of the below question give details in a maximum of three sentences.
(Quote the actual expressions used in the respective programmes)

Note: (Focus signifies that most of the its theme is captured during the broadcast)

Discusses/reports signifies that the topic is discussed over a couple a paragraphs
or more; Mentions signifies that an issue/topic is mentioned in only one or two
sentences.

1. a) Does the subject cover the visible effects of violence such as casualties, death
      toll, and material damage?

  b) State the visible effects covered if any?________________________________
      ______________________________________________________________

2 a) Does the subject cover the invisible effects of violence? Does it go beyond
     the obvious visible effects of violence? Examples include trauma and glory,
     (geo) political shifts, prestige or damage to the reputation of the communities
     or conflicting parties involved, cultural shifts, loss of civil liberties, territorial
     shifts.

   b) Explain________________________________________________________

3. a) Is the subject elite-oriented?: (elite-oriented if it focuses on leaders and elites
      as actors and sources of information, such as government officials, presidents/
      prime ministers, official spokespeople, or professionals in a certain field such
      as university professors or think tanks. Or story suggests that only elites
      are able to end conflicts, e.g. through elite-negotiated peace treaties or
      government policies.



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   b) Explain________________________________________________________
4. a) Is the subject people-oriented?: (people-oriented if it focuses on giving voice
to all parties, promotes/exemplifies empathy, understanding.)

          b) Explain____________________________________________________

5. a) Is the subject differences-oriented?: (differences-oriented if it focuses on how
      the two sides of a conflict differ from one another. It would report differences
      of opinion regarding the conflict, and conflict-related differences in culture or
      religion, etc. The broadcast may or may not also discuss military options and
      strategies (please address these latter options when you come to Q#17).

           b) Explain__________________________________________________

6. a) Is the subject agreement-oriented?: (agreement-oriented if it highlights and
      reports the common goals or opinions between the two sides, e.g. the
      grounds for possible compromise, or shared political interests or cultural
      values, etc. It may or may not explicitly discuss the options for peaceful conflict
      resolution.(please see Q#18).

           b) Explain___________________________________________________

7. a) Does the subject cover the here and now?: reports on immediate, timely
      events, e.g. speeches or disputes, without examining the longer-term causes
      and consequences of the conflict.

          b) Explain____________________________________________________

8. a) Does the subject cover the long-term causes and/or consequences of the
      conflict? an article reports on the background of the conflict or puts the
      current event into a long-term context either historically, or by looking at
      possible damages that may arise in the future because of the conflict

           b) Explain_________________________________________________

9. a) Does the broadcast report on active violence/confrontation? Similar to
      question # 1, but the story does not necessarily discuss effects.

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          b) Explain____________________________________________________

10. a) Does the subject discuss about structural and/or cultural violence?:
    (Structural violence is where a structure (usually understood as a system of
    political, social or economic relations) creates barriers that people cannot
    remove – it refers to unjust structures, oppressive forces, institutionalized
    inequalities which deny human rights, keep people under poverty, and deny
    access to resources, due to their race, gender, cultural and other . Although it
    may take visible forms, it is usually thought of as an invisible form of violence,
    built into ways of doing and ways of thinking.Cultural violence: means cultural
    forms that justify or glorify violence. Because it also exists as ideas and images
    carried in people’s minds, it is usually thought of as an invisible form of
    violence. It includes things like hate speech, persecution, myths and legends
    of war heroes, religious justifications for violence or war, the idea that one
    group of people are the chosen people, and civilization arrogance.

          b) Explain____________________________________________________

11. a) Does the subject dichotomize the good and bad?: describes things as “good”
    versus “bad” In other words, does the subject see things merely in terms of
    “either” “or”? This could be evident in language and labeling, but it may also be
    achieved through the selection of events (atrocities, vs. humanitarian gestures;
    aggression, vs. self-defense). Needs to be the overall tone of, and clearly stated
    within, the broadcast. )

          b) Explain____________________________________________________

12. a) Does the subject avoid good versus bad framing?: in this case, if the answer
    to #11 is Yes, the answer here is No; and vice versa. Again, it should be the
    overall tone of the broadcast.

       b) Explain______________________________________________________

  13.a) Is the story two-party oriented?: the broadcast will be included under this
      category if there are only two sides to a conflict represented.



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          b) Explain____________________________________________________

14. Is the subject multi-party oriented?: gives voice to many parties involved in
    the conflict; portrays the conflict as involving multiple stakeholders, including
    outside forces that may be influencing the direct combatants . Should report
    on 3 or more different viewpoints.

          b) Explain____________________________________________________

15. a) Is the subject zero-sum oriented?: (Zero-sum orientation refers to one
    goal -- to win. The conflict is not only described as two-sided, but also as a
    relationship in which any gain for one side is a loss for the other. Victory for one
    side causing defeat for the other, are seen as the only possible outcomes.)

          b) Explain____________________________________________________

16. Is the subject win-win or lose-lose oriented?: broadcast that emphasize
    how violence and failure to make peace has costs for both sides; and/or that
    suggest that war/violence itself, rather than a particular group or regime, is the
    problem.

          b) Explain____________________________________________________

17. Does the subject discuss violent options? Does it anticipate future disputes,
    outline strategies and imperatives, and/or frame the conflict as one that will be
    decided by /violent /forceful means?

          b) Explain____________________________________________________

18. Does the subject discuss peaceful options: highlights/discusses peace initiatives,
    dialogue prevention of violence and restorative justice or reconciliation?

          b) Explain____________________________________________________




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Description: This Report on Peace Content in Vernacular Radio Stations in Kenya was compiled by the Lead Communication Consultant in Kenya,Eliud K Situma.The report gives an in-depth reflection on the issues that have contributed to perennial ethnic violence in Kenya.It also gives recommendations on the way forward to curbing future ethnic animosity globally.