Internets potential for interactivity: an exploratory study of the three mainstream online newspapers in Kenya
Studies on the level of interactivity of Kenyan online newspapers are not available.Hence there is need for descriptive studies of the current situation of the interactive level of the online editions of the Kenyan newspapers. This study incorporates the interpretation of interactivity of Heeter and Rafaeli from the perspective of content interactivity. The study discusses the extent of the use of interactive tools within the online editions of newspapers in Kenya. Academic literature suggests that online papers are moving beyond the realm of 'shovelware' in an effort to create a more attractive product to be consumed by a larger and more loyal audience. The basis of this attempt is the effective use of interactive features. The mass media in Kenya seem to follow the journalistic norms and practices of the western model in the context of an increasing expanding 'international media culture'. The project paper argues that the forms and expressions of interactivity in online newspapers in Kenya are very limited. Even though the Internet has the potential to increase interactive attempts in journalism, media organizations do not necessarily exploit this opportunity effectively. This exploratory content analysis of three Kenyan online newspapers: the Kenya Times, The Standard and the Nation, reveals that they provide only token interactive options.
School of Journalism, University of Nairobi