Press freedom and media's role in conflict and peace-building : case of the post-2007 election crisis in Kenya
AuthorRadoli, Ouma Lydia
The 2007-2008 election violence in Kenya left more than 1,200 people dead and over half a million internally displaced. There were serious human rights violations, including freedom of movement, freedom of assembly and opinion. A Commission of Inquiry set to investigate the violence has attributed the conflict to unresolved historical grievances. But, the government and international agencies blame some sections of the media for inflaming the violence and ethnic hatred among Kenyans. The media is one of the most vibrant institutions in Kenya. It is vocal on matters of public interest, including political and socio-economic developments. In so far, much has been written on the role of the media in the conflict, but little, on their role in peace-building. Yet, peace-building remains a human rights concern locally and internationally. This thesis looks at how press freedom was used to either enhance conflict or build peace, as exemplified in the mentioned case. It also examines the role of the media as an agenda setter for human rights. This role provides a theoretical assumption of the responsibility of the media in preserving rights and freedoms. I argue that the media agenda to promote human rights can only be achieved within an independent media, guarded by working legislations and effective monitoring systems.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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