An analysis of the Kenyan print media in covering new biological technologies: a case study of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in the Daily Nation and the Standard Newspapers of 2010 and 2011
The 21 st century has witnessed improvements in technology which has become a necessity for mankind. The task of enlightening the public about new inventions has fallen on the media placing a huge responsibility on their shoulders. The study was designed to analyze Kenyan print media in covering new biological technologies. The new biological technology in this case is how issues of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have been handled by the media. This was done through content analysis of two major newspapers in Kenya, the Daily Nation and The Standard over a period of two years. The purpose of this research was to analyze and establish how the mainstream print media, have reported on biological technologies, with special focus on how they have handled GMO issues. The study employed qualitative and quantitative means of data collection and analysis. The papers objectives that were used to achieve its goal included assess how Kenyan newspapers have reported on GMO technology, to find out the number of stories on GMO published over the two years under study and to find out the placement of GMO stories in the Nation and The standard newspapers. The research revealed that GMO issues were given a very low prominence value by the two media organizations. News reports on GMOs have tended to focus more on their harmful effects to human beings. There were few editorials, opinions, letters to the editor, and features on GMOs as compared to news items on other issues. In comparison, it appears that the Standard newspaper covered GMO issues in a more dedicated manner than the Daily Nation did. GMO issues have been haphazard. The edition of horizon was stopped in August 2010. It was replaced by a pull-out called 'Money' which deals with investments.
University of Nairobi, Kenya