Freedom of the media in Kenya : an estranged concept?
Sigel, Ronnie Kipngtetich
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The media in Kenya has gone through a variety of changes to its legislative structure; from the pre-colonial times, to the colonial times to the post-colonial era. Each period has shaped perspective on media freedom. The underlying notion is that the media should be protected with only constitutional caveats to its restriction. However, recent trends by the legislature indicate restricting media freedom further than what the Constitution provides. Acts of Parliament being legislated and amendments to existing laws stalling media development have turned the idea of media freedom into an estranged theoretical concept that is not practiced, a known concept that is unknown practically. The purpose of this paper is therefore to introduce the concept of media freedom with reference to theories upon which the foundations of media freedom are built. Furthermore, the paper will try to answer whether media freedom is practiced in Kenya and whether it has been infringed upon by the law. A comparative study of South Africa and China will attempt to highlight media freedom in those countries and aspects upon which Kenya might assimilate into its existing media freedom framework. The conclusion will answer whether media freedom is indeed an estranged concept in Kenya