Radio as a Tool of Political Mobilization in Kenya During the 2013 General Election: a Case Study of Nairobi County
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Elections in democratic states across the world have become standard and acceptable procedure for democratic leadership and constitutional governance. During election period, candidates mobilize the electorate to be elected into public offices. Mass media is widely used by politicians during this period to gain support from the electorate and be elected into political office. While television has received much attention, radio use during campaign is an area that has not been extensively studied especially in developing countries. This study therefore sought to investigate radio as a tool of political mobilization during Kenya‟s 4th March 2013 general election, with a keen focus on Nairobi County. This was an analytical study aimed at establishing how radio influenced voting for various presidential candidates during the election period. The study was conducted in Nairobi County, because the county is reached by all national radio stations in Kenya especially those that use national languages. The study found out that majority of respondents (76%) who listened to radio during 4th March 2013 general election, were exposed to political content through news, political talk-shows and advertisements. Further, the findings indicated that the categories of radio (private or public) determined the way radio was used in political mobilization. Majority also agreed that radio was effective in mobilizing the masses to vote.
University of Nairobi