A report by the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) shows that some stations have given more coverage to certain politicians in recent months.
According to the report dated Friday, June 24, the Media Council showed that vernacular radio stations were the most notorious when it came to being unfair in their coverage.
The Media Council report focused on how the mainstream media reported on 17 candidates who had shown strong interest in the presidential seat.
Archive photo of a microphone in a radio station set up
In the report, the Media Council said that Anguo FM in Taita Taveta had talks only with Governor Granton Samboja, while FM mainly focused on Raila Odinga.
Anguo has never hosted another gubernatorial candidate as it has in previous months.
“FM these broadcasts in Dholuo focused on politics aligned with presidential candidate Raila Odinga, particularly issues affecting the ODM party and Azimio la Umoja.
“Ene FMbased in Wote town, focused on Ukambani politics giving more coverage to the OKA coalition which affected Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka,” MCK reported.
Based in the Rift Valley Kass FM was also put on the spot for hosting only guests affiliated with the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) between March 28 and April 1, 2022.
After Vice President William Ruto complained about unfair media coverage, the Media Council said that by mid-June 2022 coverage of Kenya Kwanza had increased, in some cases overtaking Azimio, particularly on radio platforms.
For the period between April and early June, Raila caught 14,427 minutes on the radio, against Ruto who caught 9,155.63 minutes and Safina party presidential hopeful Jimi Wanjigi who caught 484.23 minutes. Other candidates like George Wajackoyah of the Roots Party received 29.17 minutes of coverage.
Azimio’s presidential candidate received 41,193.23 minutes on television compared to his close competitor, UDA’s William Ruto, who got 20,406.95 minutes. Wanjigi got 1,154.55 minutes and Wajackoya just 321.11 minutes.
In terms of print media, The Star wrote 360 articles on Raila and 227 articles on Ruto. The Nation had 244 articles on Raila and 201 articles on the vice president. The Standard had 267 articles on Raila and 154 on Ruto. The People Daily wrote 237 articles about Raila and 132 about Ruto.
KTN News had 495 stories on Raila and 336 on Ruto while Citizen TV had 486 on Raila and 279 on DP. NTV had 313 reports on Azimio’s presidential candidate and 201 reports on Ruto.
“However, overall, Raila still leads in media space consumption. Radio remains the king in promoting diversity in coverage. 95.8% of coverage of presidential candidates during the of the week,” the report read in part.
Notably, UDA’s presidential running mate, Rigathi Gachagua, received less media coverage than his Azimio La Umoja counterpart, Martha Karua.
UDA Running Mate Rigathi Gachagua (left) and Senator Kiambu Kimani Wamatangi.
The study also showed that Karua received 78.89% coverage compared to Gachagua which got 20.99% while Justina Wambui of the Roots Party had 0.22%.
Notably, the Agano party’s presidential running mate, Ruth Mutua, received no media coverage. Karua had more print, television and radio coverage than the other three running mates.