The role of radio in national cohesion in Kenya
Cohesion can be defined as the situation or condition when members of a group or society are united. The gist and essence of cohesion is unity, which also refers to consonance, symphony, or coherence. National cohesion is seen as oneness, harmony and integrity of a people with a sense of belonging and direction to achieve certain common goals, aims, objectives, and values. A state is a collection of people sharing a common territory, government, resources, cultures, ambitions, territorial symbols and history. Kenya is a nation state, which means that it is an autonomous state, sharing certain common cultures and language as well as history and political ambient. Although Kenya is considered a nation-state, it faces numerous challenges relating to the coexistence of the disparate groups that live in the country. On numerous occasions, there have been violent conflicts as ‘tribal’ groups compete for resources and power. For example, violence is a common feature of Kenya’s electoral politics. Examined through the lens of national cohesion, this research investigates the role of media, specifically radio, in promoting or inhibiting national cohesion in Kenya. Using Malindi District, Kilifi County, as a case study, this research found out that national cohesion still faces serious challenges despite serious media campaigns. The research was especially telling, and found out that the media hardly influences people’s perceptions and attitudes towards national cohesion. This is despite the investment of huge resources intended to promote national cohesion.