BP106: Freedom of expression in Kenya: Exploring public use of old and new media

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Briefing papers
2012
106
Mitullah, Winnie V.

Freedom of expression is a human right and bedrock for development. However, experience differs across the globe with some countries censoring what is communicated to the general public and totally gagging citizens. This experience is gradually being negated as the world embraces new interactive media through ICT. This channel relays information in real time and it is almost impossible to control by governments who are not keen on embracing public opinion in governance. This briefing paper uses the results of Afrobarometer Round 5 to assess how Kenyans are using both old and new media as channels for expression. In particular, it examines the status of freedom of expression, and whether the emphasis on new media as a panacea for communication for development is a reality in Kenya.