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Globalization and communications policy: the role of the media in communications policy development in Kenya between 2002 and 2009

Malila, Vanessa (2012) Globalization and communications policy: the role of the media in communications policy development in Kenya between 2002 and 2009. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis is a case study analysis of the role of the media in communications policy development in Kenya. The aim of the research was to investigate whether the press in particular could play a role in policy-making as policy stakeholders, moving beyond the traditional role of the media in policy as agenda setting agents. This was done through a case study analysis of two policy-making processes, namely the process of developing the National ICT Policy and the process which resulted in the Kenya Communications Amendment Act. While traditional studies of the media’s role in policy have examined the manner in which media coverage has influenced policy-makers and the public, this thesis aims to investigate whether the media can play a more direct role in policy processes as stakeholders in policy discussions and debates. The media’s role in communications policy in Kenya was examined within the context of globalization and the potential of multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) to create an enabling environment for the participation of diverse stakeholders, including the media, in the policy-making process. The findings have shed light on the political, social and economic context within which policy is made in Kenya and within which the press in Kenya operate and the obstacles that this has posed to their participation in policy-making processes. What has emerged from this thesis is that although there is some engagement by policy stakeholders other than the government, it is of a superficial nature and fails to ensure real diversity and participation by a range of different stakeholders from different sectors. Furthermore, the press failed to take advantage of avenues for debate and discussion to engage in policy discussions, and instead in the case of the KCAA used their agenda setting power to influence the policy negatively. Through biased, subjective and misleading reporting, the press were able to influence policy-makers to the point where the passed Act (KCAA) was returned to parliament for further amendments.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications (Leeds) > Institute of Communication Studies (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.561079
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2012 10:17
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:24
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3124

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