Print media coverage of maternal health in Kenya: a content analysis of the „beyond zero‟ campaign by daily nation and standard Newspaers
Maternal health is one of the key indicators of any country‟s level of development. In Kenya, the Maternal Mortality Ratio is 480 deaths per 100,000 live births. This means that a lot of lives of mothers and children are lost, yet most of them could be prevented. The media has a central role to play when it comes to educating the government, key policy makers and the public in general on issues concerning maternal health. Given the diversity in forms of mass media available in Kenya, print media not excluded, maternal health should be given as much priority as politics and other stories that the media consider important. This study sought to analyze print media coverage of maternal health. A content analysis of The Nation and The Standard newspapers from 24 January 2014-14 April 2014 was done. This was from the time the Beyond Zero Campaign was launched to the time the First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta took part in the London Marathon. The population under study comprised of all the 162 publications within the four month period. Analysis of the findings was done using a code sheet on Microsoft Excel.Based on the findings, this study concludes that the media has a greater potential to cover on maternal health. This can be achieved by the media focusing more on such stories that affect the country‟s development, rather than being profit oriented and focusing more on “what sells” like politics.This study recommends that journalists should use new frames that are more effective, to cover on maternal health. It further recommends that more feature stories be done as opposed to news stories as features are more in-depth and analytical.