Portrayal of female presidential candidature in the 2013 general elections in televisions news: a case study of Citizen Television And Kenya Television Network (KTN) Stations
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There is a constant battle between media and politics. Factors such as gender of contenders and their previous exposure to the media sometimes come in to the battle to act as precipitates to either side of the divide. Yet media and politics cannot be exclusive of each other – in fact, they feed and grow only because of each other. Media plays a central role in elections in Kenya. Often time, the candidature of an aspirant gets its framing from various media outlets. This study sought to explore how television stations portrayed the female presidential candidature during the 2013 general elections in Kenya. Drawing its data from television news clips and interviews, the study realized a dramatic difference in the findings of the video clips and the survey conducted. The surveys which were done amongst media practitioners – news anchors and news editors, to a great deal emphasized the non-existence of bias in the portrayal of the female candidacy while the video clips analyzed indicated a great deal of inconsistency with the portrayal of other political news of similar magnitude. Televisions show an open bias towards the female candidacy based on former stereotypes held of her. Also, the television news framed the female presidential candidature with a lesser magnitude as deems a presidential candidature’s news framing. It would be fit for the media to consider its position as the fourth estate and a cistern to many a citizens’ thirst, and thereby strive to be objective as opposed to basing their presentations on subjective ideas. Female presidential aspirants should also play an active role in the way they are framed by the media – instead of letting the media depict their candidacy in whichever way it pleases.