Mass media-state relations in post-colonial Kenya
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This paper examines the relationship between the state and the mass media in post colonial Kenya. Proceeding from the premise that this relationship has been characterized by uneasiness and conflict, the paper seeks to identify the major causes of this conflict. It provides insights into why the conflictual relationship has not changed much since the advent of the democratization process. The paper also examines the strategies used by the state to deal with the mass media. The central argument here is that the relationship between the mass media and the state in Kenya is unlikely to improve unless two conditions are met. First, there must be commitment on the part of the state to democratic governance and a recognition of the legitimate role of the media in the promotion and protection of democracy. Secondly, there must be a vibrant civil society that is capable of obstructing attempts by the state to encroach on the rights and freedoms of the public, including the freedom of the press. The political orientation in state society relations in Kenya since independence has been characterized by a determination by the state to control society. This approach, which is underpinned by an authoritarian ideology, resulted in a culture of fear rather than trust and respect for the state.