Kenyan Media and Entertainment World and Its Influence on Elections

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Introduction

Social Media in the cutting edge period has the potential to free individuals from authoritarian regimes by encouraging activation against such run the show. Little by little, the new media help to open up open spaces, making a more pluralistic, and independent road of news, analysis, and information which gives a helpful stage or on the other hand sharpening and preparing general society in severe nations enthusiastically.

Social media networking is nearly as effective as the customary media, for example, radio, TV, and print media as far as contacting a bigger group of onlookers. Social media, from the minimum basic ones like Flickr, Digg, upcoming, Technorati, MySpace, to the most famous ones like YouTube, Facebook furthermore, twitter were effectively used amid Kenya's 2013 elections by different hopefuls in the offer to transfer campaign messages and rally supporters. In spite of the fact that the quantity of individuals utilizing the Internet in Kenya has risen colossally in recent years, the effect of social networks must be felt where electricity and Internet get to is accessible, and that is in urban zones. According to the Ministry of Information, Kenya has over 14 million Internet users. That is about 30 percent of the population. Only five percent were using the Internet five years ago (Bruan, 2013).

“What does not exist in the media does not exist in the public mind‟ (Manuel, 2009). Africa and Kenya have been quite dependent on media for political information, what is said in the Mainstream media informs discussions among citizens in their different social groups as media does not provide a forum for citizens to discuss various issues. New Media has completely reversed the traditional understandings of power and authority by giving the masses direct power disturbing government and media’s role in the social system. The emergence of social media in Kenya has increased political participation especially among the youth who previously did not participate in politics (Oser J, 2013). The study of the role of social networking as a political campaign tool critical since it could help the government of how to utilize web-based social networking to advance majority rules system through setting up of social media pages for the different government services empowering the administration to cooperate with its people.

This research shows the different ways that the distinctive political gatherings used the new media. Some centered around the participatory parts of the new advancements in speaking with voters and observing of the general assessment, while others concentrated on a top-down data scattering. Amid the races, a few gatherings or political competitors focused on descending spread of data through new media while others underscored their intelligent and focusing on conceivable outcomes. The triumphant political coalition – Celebration – drove by the now sworn-in President Uhuru Kenyatta, was extremely dynamic in their utilization of web-based social networking. Jubilee’s self-designation as the 'computerized group' was not really imagined to mirror a dynamic web-based social networking nearness but instead their political declaration to support the Kenyan ICT division, by and by the triumphant battle group unmistakably contributed vigorously in online networking. The examination in this way illuminates government officials on the do’s and don’ts for future political crusades on the web.

Since The Kenyan media has concentrated proprietorship to not very many media houses which are associated with specific Politicians somehow prompting generation of one-sided content, particularly on political issues. In the past social affair, Kenyans to banter on specific issues was an awesome errand that required a gigantic spending plan yet with online networking the cost of uniting individuals is zero, therefore, the investigation makes consciousness of social media’s cost adequacy. As it drew out the different ways that online networking was used ruinously underscoring the requirement for the legislature to build up a direction structure representing the utilization of the web-based social networking as this would go far in improving majority rule government.

Literature Review

The 2008 United States presidential campaign was historic not just in light of the fact that it saw the to start with African American candidates, but since it saw the main new media presidential battle. The internet was without a doubt used intensely in running the election in the 21st century as it associated individuals, spread data, and strengthened convictions. Obama’s battle methodology has been briefly named as '19th-century governmental issues utilizing 21st-century instruments' (von Drehle, 2008).The internet served our campaign in unprecedented ways‟ said President Barack Obama (Dan Balz, 29)

Africa has seen steady change over the years from dictatorship to the democratic rule which in turn has led to a significant change from a media scene controlled by political actors to a more liberalized media scene. Africa and Kenya specifically, being dependent on media politics, lives up to Castell's notion of “what does not exist in the media does not exist in the public mind‟ (Manuel, 2009). Several impactful campaigns have been conducted on social media in Africa and Kenya they include; the Kenyans for Kenya campaign driven by Safaricom (#kenyans4kenya) a campaign that rallied Kenyans to raise funds to help fellow Kenyans in case of famine or #KOTAMPBonus protest campaign led by blogger @RobertAlai platform like this can be used for the good of society or conversely Very little if any research has been conducted on the effects of social media on political campaigns (Jorgic, 2013).

Overview of General Elections

General elections were held in Kenya on 4 March 2013. Voters elected the President, members of the National Assembly and new Senate, and in addition country Governors and Delegates. They were the main decisions held under the new constitution, which was endorsed in a 2010 referendum, and were likewise the principal keep running by the new Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) (Smith, 2013)

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International criminal court indictee Uhuru Kenyatta was officially declared the winner of Kenya's presidential election, in spite of the fact that his opponent, Raila Odinga, will not concede defeat and a legal challenge far-reaching extortion is sure. Kenyatta won by the slimmest of edges, acquiring 50.07% of the vote to secure a first-round win, in a decision that saw a record turnout of 84.9% of enlisted voters. Kenyans sat tight for almost seven days for its ambushed appointive body, the Free Constituent and Limits Commission, to declare the outcome. So far dissents have stayed quiet in a nation known for ethnic viciousness (Patinkin, 2013).

Media of Kenya

A modest bunch of significant players commands the business. One of them, Nation Media Group, additionally works in neighboring nations. The state-run Kenya Broadcasting Company (KBC) is financed from advertising and government provided the budget. TV is the fundamental news source in urban communities and towns. The spread of review in country territories has been slower, hampered by restricted access to mains power. The switchover to digital television completed in 2015, offered to ascend to new outlets offering assorted substance in different dialects. The principle satellite pay-television stages are South Africa's Dusts, Kenyan-claimed Zuku television, and Chinese-possessed StarTimes.

Entertainment, music and telephone INS command the exuberant radio scene, which incorporates Islamic stations and those telecoms in neighborhood dialects. Radio is a key medium in provincial territories, where most Kenyans live. Full-time FM transfers of the BBC World Administration are reporting in real time in Nairobi (93.9), Mombasa (93.9) and Kisumu (88.1).The very focused press part is the most refined in the locale. The print media are commanded by two distributing houses, the Country and Standard. Kenya has seen a moderate disintegration of media opportunity lately, says Columnists without Fringes in its 2017 study of worldwide press flexibility. It says security concerns, particularly finished Somali activist gathering Al-Shabab, have been used to limit the flexibility of data. The Internet use is high by local measures. Cell phones are the principle methods for getting to. There were 21 million web clients by 2016 (Internetlivestats.com).According to the web world, 2016, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are in the main 10 positioning of most-went to sites. Facebook positions second, behind Google. There are around 5 million dynamic Facebook clients. The most prevalent records have a tendency to be controlled by media associations and identities, and government officials.

Use of Social Media in 2013 General Elections

Politicians used online networking sites to call their supporters to activities by requesting that they enlist for voting. They likewise used online networking to educate their supporters where their battle the trail was going. As indicated by the members' different Politicians used online networking distinctively as others concentrated on the two-stage stream of correspondence, where data, by and large, moved from top-down while others concentrated on an even approach. In this way, a few lawmakers neglected to comprehend this stage.

Politicians additionally used bloggers and different party admin accounts via social networking media to offer their plan through utilization of purposeful publicity, generalizations, and ethnicity in a roundabout way. Politicians additionally used their Facebook pages and Twitter handles to make a relational association with their supporters through noting their inquiries on different issues. Politicians used online networking to offer their declaration through utilization of photographs (OBARE, 2013)

People from Kenya used social media to keep informed by accessing real-time news updates on their preferred political candidates and sharing opinions on various political party manifestos. The various participants indicated that the Kenyans used social media platforms to campaign for their preferred presidential candidates by uploading their updates to reflect their stand of view by sharing videos and pictures of candidates. The also used the social media to spread hate speech in their mother tong specially Kikuyu and Luo representing the two main political parties. The social media also gave them a chance to influence the decisions of them and others who were undecided about whom to elect for the president of the country. The Kenyans also used social media as a watchdog tool as political parties were under higher scrutiny than ever before forcing them to give Kenyans promises that they would fulfill in their periods.

There was a time when other forms of media such as televisions, radio or newspaper used to be major actors of news spreading of such major events like elections. The spread usage of devices such as mobile and relatively cheap price of the internet has made the social media platform as a major actor for information to peoples. The usage of social media in Kenyan General Election 2013 left its footprint in social media platform and the political platform as well. It made more social media pages for the campaign of the candidate. The politician’s loss of the authoritarian role in media platform. Bloggers acted as opinion leaders to general users who had taken the watchdog role. The largest number of masses ever seen participating and interacting on a single mass media channel at no cost creating. Some weblog tried to promote peace and justice. Most of the social media channels used for biased information, tribal prejudices, and hate speech towards other tribes (OBARE, 2013).

Conclusions

The nature, degree and results of incendiary and loathe discourse in Kenya are truly clear. They develop now and again of political pressure or strife and in the run-up to and amid decision battles. Those charged or blamed for detest discourse are seldom effectively indicted. Cases either delay without result or are dropped – regularly for political reasons.

Fruitful disseminators end up plainly significant instruments for political pioneers and for their gatherings. The disappointment of indictments, for example, the global body of evidence against Joshua arap Sang, gives the individuals who take part in loathe discourse for political closures a sentiment exemption. The viciousness that regularly goes with political debate or decisions is declaration to the viability of detest promulgation as a device in the political munititions stockpile of Kenyan legislators.

Recommendations

Stopping such activities is not an easy task to do. All the actors participating in the elections should be responsible not to engage in such events. The voters should not share, upload contents including hate speech or negative contents. The presidential candidates should not use the social media platform to spread hate speech toward the opponent party. The government ought to use the findings of these contents as learning of social media use in political campaigns and come up with regulations framework in partnership with Communication Commissions of Kenya to curb the use of hate speech and incitement on the social media platform. To reduce the hate speech regulations should be tight enough to bring all actors of election under the umbrella of regulations and law. Communication Commissions of Kenya should have the authorities and resources to track down all the actors who act behind the hate speech, for that the government and Electoral Commissions of Kenya should have the gut not to bow down to any political party in the country. But the government also has to be concern about ensuring to protect Kenyan’s freedom of speech.

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