Print media reporting of taxation issues in Kenya
Tax education is an essential issue that needs attention for any country working towards National development. The media has a role in educating and creating awareness on policy matters pertaining taxation to the society. In Kenya’s mass media system and the editors have legitimate powers to decide on print content and placement. Kenya enjoys a more diverse and liberalized media than any other African country and therefore a good chance in in-depth reporting of taxation. Taxation policies exist in our country but they need to be educated and sensitized to the public. Taxation enjoys placement in the business pullouts and also enjoys personality focus. The study sought to find out how taxation is reported in the print media in Kenya a case of the Daily Nation and the Standard newspapers. The period taken was June to December 2013; during the budget reading, post budget review and after the 1st revenue quarter. A content analysis of the daily newspapers (Monday to Friday) publications specifically Nation and Standard was done. The population of this study comprised 360 publications within the six months period. Analysis of the findings was done with the help of a code sheet. From the findings, the study concludes that taxation reporting in the print media is sensational and seasonal. Media houses are primarily profit making organizations. They focus their reporting to news that will sale and hence report taxation prominently when it touches on top government officials. The study recommends that the media as an informational tool should give taxation prominence in their reporting and must play a watch dog role in highlighting government projects that are implemented using the government tax.