The media as civil society and its role in democratic transition in Kenya
Wanyande, Peter M
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This paper discusses the contribution of the mass media to the transition from single to multi-party democracy in Kenya. Considering the media as part and parcel of civil society, the author argues that access to the mass media is critical to actors involved in the politics of transition from single to multiparty democracy. However, it is postulated that the role of the media in this enterprise can be greatly enhanced by the support of other democratic social forces in society. Both institutions need each other as they try to influence the direction, pattern and issues of democratic transition. The paper also discusses the problems encountered by the media in the process of promoting democratic politics. These include the legal and political environment in which the media operate, the absence of an effective media organization to protect the interests of journalists and the tendency to disregard professionalism by the media practitioners themselves.