Media framing of women in politics: an analysis of print media coverage of women members of parliament in Kenya
Scholars in media, gender and politics have interest the apparent gender differences in media coverage and framing ofthose in politics. This study sought to explore how the Kenyan news print media have framed the twenty two women parliamentarians in the tenth parliament in their coverage. The objectives of the study are twofold. The first one is to examine the amount of media coverage and level of prominence given to stories on women in politics; and secondly, to identify the dominant gender frames used in news print media content. The theoretical underpinning of this study is borrowed from the media framing theory. The research approach of the study was qualitative in nature and employed content analysis and in-depth interview data collection techniques. The sample frame for the study included two main media houses namely Nation Media Group and tile Standard Group and their newspaper publications published daily over a six months period from 1 st January to 30th June 2011. The sample size for the content analysis included all the newspaper articles that mentioned any on the twenty two women aspirants. A total of ten senior editors and writers working for the Nation Media Group and the Standard Group were purposively selected for the in- depth interviews. A key finding was that news print media coverage of women in politics is low, their stories placed in the inside pages and rarely do their names hardly make it to the headlines making them 'invisible'. The researcher concludes that 'hidden' influences such as cultural backgrounds of the media professionals, principles of what makes news and commercial interest contribute to the low coverage of women.