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Background Paper: Politics and Interactive Media in Kenya


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Mitullah, Winnie V. 
Mudhai, Okoth Fred 
Mwangi, Sammy 


This background paper provides an overview of the history and context of interactive media and public opinion in Kenya. It is intended to contextualise and inform the study, Politics and Interactive Media in Africa (PiMA), a collaborative study by researchers from the University of Cambridge, University of Nairobi and University of Zambia. The main objectives of the PiMA project are: (a) to explore the extent to which media interactivity is widening (and deepening) political participation in Africa; (b) to investigate how public opinion is collected and represented by African media and for what (and whose) purposes; and (c) to establish the extent to which public opinion expressed via interactive media affects accountability mechanisms and policy-makers’ behaviour. This working paper is organised into three sections. The first section discusses the policy and legal context for interactive media in Kenya. The second section discusses the history of broadcast media and interactive shows. The final section examines the intersection of public opinion and interactive media in Kenya.


The PiMA Working Papers are a series of peer-reviewed working papers that present findings and insights from Centre of Governance and Human Rights’ (CGHR) Politics and Interactive Media in Africa (PiMA) research project (2012-14). The project, jointly funded by the ESRC and DFID (ES/J018945/1), focuses on expressions of ‘public opinion’ in broadcast media via new information and communication technologies (ICT) such as mobile phones in Kenya and Zambia. PiMA examines the political implications of such interactions in the two African countries, with a view to drawing conclusions of wider significance to practitioners and policymakers. Series Editors: Sharath Srinivasan, Stephanie Diepeveen


Politics, Interactive Media, Kenya, Africa, public opinion, participation, African media, mobile phones, television, radio

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CGHR, Dept. of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge

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PiMA was jointly funded by the ESRC and DFID (ES/J018945/1)