Conflict Sensitive Journalism and Elections

Analysis of the media coverage of the 2017 Elections in Kenya


  • Ruth Owino Kabarak University
  • Boniface Kirema Karani Kabarak University



In any electoral process, the media plays a crucial role in informing the public and acting as a watchdog in ensuring a credible and fair election. Media influences the election dynamics and perceptions, how and what the media reports, builds, or breaks the credibility of an election. Media influences people by way of reporting, offering peaceful resolution, or even ending up in conflicts. Media is therefore instrumental in conflict resolutions and peace-building. In Kenya, the media is faulted for poor reporting and amplifying hate speech that inflames tension and leads to retaliatory attacks. The media has previously reported unconfirmed reports, inciting messages from politicians, or perpetuated viewpoint that has created political discourses that fun violent conflict. The media ought to report freely, fairly, and be neutral during elections without fueling violence. This paper sought to examine the role played by media in the electoral processes, analyses media coverage of the 2017 elections, establish the extent to which the media escalated and/or de-escalated election violence in Kenya. In collecting data, the researchers applied the qualitative approach through content analysis of newspaper articles, journals, and websites. These materials provided the intended information on the issue that was to be addressed, that is conflict-sensitive journalism. The study established that media has a role in framing conflicts and/or escalating conflict. It is also responsible for providing balanced reporting through good investigative journalism especially during conflict situations to promote peace and tranquility.


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How to Cite

Ruth Owino, & Boniface Kirema Karani. (2022). Conflict Sensitive Journalism and Elections: Analysis of the media coverage of the 2017 Elections in Kenya. Kabarak Journal of Research & Innovation, 11(3), 299–307.



Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences