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Media coverage: Raila had 61 per cent compared to Ruto's 38 per cent

By Stephanie Wangari - Jun 24th 2022

Media Council of Kenya CEO David Omwoyo during a media consultative meeting in Eldoret. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga had a 61.2 per cent media coverage while his competitor, Kenya Kwanza flag bearer William Ruto got 38 per cent, according to an analysis done by the Media Council of Kenya (MCK).

The analysis, conducted between April and June 2022, also revealed that Roots Party’s George Wajackoya garnered a 0.54 per cent media coverage.

MCK Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo says the regulator conducted the analysis after one of the presidential candidates complained of unfair coverage. 

"We took newspapers, radio, and several TV stations and checked what amount of time each candidate had been accorded," he said in a televised address Friday.

Further, Martha Karua (Odinga's running mate) enjoyed coverage of 78.8 per cent, Rigathi Gachagua of UDA- 20.99 per cent while Justina Wambui (Roots Party) had 0.22 per cent coverage. 

Four candidates have since been cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to seek the presidency. They are William Ruto, Raila Odinga, George Wajackoya and Waihiga Mwaure of Agano Party.

"The four candidates who successfully secured clearance for the presidential August polls at an overall 96 per cent mentions of the total presidential candidates’ publicity from April 22 to June 7," read an excerpt of the report.

"Apart from Jimi Wanjigi who had been on the media limelight all along, the rest of the candidates who were not cleared, secured media coverage during the clearance period.”

However, since mid-June, MCK says there has been increased coverage of Kenya Kwanza, in some cases overtaking Azimio, particularly on radio. "However, overall- Raila still leads in media space consumption,” Omwoyo noted.

Though media is improving in terms of balanced coverage, Omwoyo said there is room for improvement. “We are not where we are supposed to be.”

He appealed to journalists to be balanced in reporting, their political affiliations notwithstanding.

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