The role of media in conflict resolution and management: a case study of Mugumoini location in Langata constituency
Nyakundi, George S G
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The study aimed at establishing the role of the mass media in conflict resolution and management among residents of Mugomo Ini location in Langata constituency following the 2007/2008 post-election violence. Further it was necessary to investigate the root causes of conflict in the location as a basis for establishing the media foundation to resolve conflict. Most conflicts in the location were found to be economic-driven and needed to be resolved through a system that enabled the residents to create their own wealth. The research established that the media had a significant role to play in conflict resolution and management in Mugumo Ini location as the residents relied on it for information and interpretation of events in important periods. The project examined whether the causes of conflict covered by the mass media were as perceived by the residents besides establishing the media most accessed by the residents and found that although the media significantly improved in coverage of events as residents perceived them during the referendum period there was significant perception that the media was dedicating more of it time on political events at the expense of the people's needs. The accessibility of media for routine news was different from the desired accessibility during crisis A total of 296 articles were examined to determine the influence or role of the media in conflict resolution and management including editorials, front page news, advertisements and letters to the editor. A survey of 47 respondents was carried out, an interview four purposively selected practitioners in the fields of economics, security, politics and media was also conducted besides an examination of a purposive sample of three musicals from the Luo, Kikuyu and Kisii communities in relation to 2007 post-election violence were examined. Previous researches carried out have been concentrated on the relatively impoverished and one of the world's most Known slums, Kibera (Hagen, 2011) and often focusing on short-term investments in peace and ignoring media influence in mixed class environments, adjacent areas to the presumed epicenters of violence. The study found out that mixed environments provided a more balanced opportunity for conflict resolution than environment predominated by one group which feels aggrieved . elsewhere. The project found out that election violence only can be avoided if measured were taken that addressed economic inequalities, corruption and governance. The project established that there existed significant perception that politicians deliberately exploited economic inequalities for power attainment. The study found out that intervention by media to verify facts for the audience was critical in conflict resolution. This was especially crucial recognizing that the media served as a critical channel of communication with heavy implications on the opportunities it had to mediate in long term conflict resolution and management. This remained fundamental during the country's transitional period of Kenyan democracy such the referendum when requisite instrument for change were/are being put in place. The study applied case study methodology that made use of purposive sampling, purposive semistructured interviews of practitioners, content analysis of the most widely circulating Sunday Nation. Newspaper, and a portion of musicals as emerged during the period in relation to the post-election violence and survey of a purposively selected sample of forty-seven respondents .