A comparative study of the coverage of agricultural information by the Daily Nation and the Standard newspapers in Kenya
Koinange, Thuku M.
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The Kenya's agricultural sector occupies a very significant place in the national economy as a key driver of the economy. The Kenyan fanning community lacks reliable agricultural-based mass media to educate and inform them on agricultural information leaving them with the mass media as the alternative. Among the leading local newspapers are the Daily Nation and The Standard in the print media whose coverage of agricultural information has not been assessed. A comparative content analysis study was therefore conducted on all week-day newspapers cluster sampled from a one year period divided into three month study clusters to characterize and compare the agricultural information covered and identify the framing accorded to it. The study found that newspapers carried most of the agricultural information under different themes and frames. However, most of the information was framed as farming as a business and food security. It was also found that the newspapers felt obliged to express their opinion on agricultural information where food security was threatened as seen by the high percentage of editorials they carried. It was also found that stories though largely themed as business or market information, they were in six frames. Partly this may be explained by the need for newspapers to carry most stories in their business stories after discontinuing the specialised science and technology sections. Though beneficial in reaching a large audience, questions on the information's depth and credibility remain unanswered.