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Media influence on public policy in Kenya

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 June 2021

David Irwin*
Department of Politics, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Njeri Kiereini*
Media consultant, Kenya


Many scholars argue that the media can influence policymakers – determining the policy agenda, framing issues, prioritising issues and, on occasion, setting the policy as well. It could be, however, that skilled policymakers exploit the media, so that the media in fact reflects the issues that policymakers want debated. This then poses an important question of whether the media does indeed influence the public policy process. The topic of media influence is widely studied in consolidated democracies but there has been limited research in consolidating democracies. This paper addresses both of these gaps – through exploring the extent to which the media influences policymakers in Kenya, a country perceived to have a moderately free press and one in which a range of interest groups vie to influence government and thus with a media likely to carry a range of competing opinions.

Research Article
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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