Communicating In The Era Of Citizen Journalism: A Conversation On Kenyan Online Media In Response To Development Messages From The Presidential Press Team
Chepkemoi, Bore Corrine
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This study sought to investigate how Kenya’s Presidential Strategic Communications Unit has employed online media to engage and promote conversations in response to development issues driven by the Government. The study employed a quantitative and qualitative content analysis approach to study twitter conversations based on five State House summits meant to discuss the Government’s progress in addressing key development issues. The study utilised the media systems dependence theory. The study used a census sample of 1,200 tweets covering five development issues – health, agriculture, transport and infrastructure and tourism. Data was collected data using a coding sheet and analysed through descriptive statistics and narrations for quantitative and qualitative data respectively. Findings showed that the government banks on social sites like twitter to influence, mobilise and persuade people. This is seen through several twitter handles being managed by the presidential unit, which has managed to engage the public aggressively online. These online strategies have been employed tactfully to motivate and activate the public to engage in the online discussions. The study also found out that people on twitter have capitalized on this platform to air their grievances, complaints and at the same time complementing the government for its efforts towards positive development. The study recommended thatthat county and follow up summits be conducted and digitalization of all government agencies and ministries be done.
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