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Staking Claims: The Kenyan Newspaper Sector, 1899 -1990


This dissertation examines the establishment and publication of various Kenyan newspapers between 1899 and 1990. It argues that most were established to enable the interests that controlled them to permeate the political field and other sectors of the economy that sometimes had little or nothing to do with newspapers or the media. That is, newspapers acted as bases from which to affect various centres of power. This meant that the enterprises behind these publications focused their efforts on lobbying the most powerful and influential political players towards positions that favoured the goals of their owners. At the same time, newspapers served as media for the production of conformity, steering public opinion towards those positions. The dissertation also includes a study of the government press during the period under examination as an entity that was also eager to `stake a claim' in the psyche of its targeted audiences. This enabled the governments concerned to encourage compliance with their policies in an attempt to ensure the continuation of the status quo or the enhancement of their power and influence.

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