By Steven Mkawale
An audit on media coverage of the National Accord and reforms related issues has been released. The report dubbed: Media and National Accord-Facts and Figures - show that The Standard newspaper gave more frequent coverage to the constitutional review process compared to the Nation during the study period.
The audit released yesterday by the Africa Peace Forum during a breakfast meeting at the Hotel Intercontinental, Nairobi indicated that The Standard published 642 stories on constitutional reforms compared to the Nation’s 508. The media monitoring was carried out between January 1 and September 30, 2009.
According to George Kabongah, a Project Officer with Africa Peace Forum, media played a very important role in highlighting debate on the review process.
However, Kabongah observed that despite massive media coverage of reforms related issues, only 28 per cent of Kenyans were aware about Agenda 4 of the National Accord.
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Political and social issues
According to their findings Kenyans in areas affected by 2007-2008 post-election violence knew very little about Agenda 4, which addressed long-term solutions to political and social issues bevelling the country since independence.
The Non-Governmental Organisations carried its research in eight areas that were worst hit by the post-election violence and two areas that were never affected.
The research that involved 1,100 households in both sample groups, showed that 90 percent of Kenyans learnt about Agenda 4 through radio while a large number of youth used social networks like twitter, facebook, myspace among others.
The report contained in a booklet that was launched by National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) Commissioner Halakhe Waqo showed that media coverage on police issues was dominated by stories about police officers fighting crime, particularly an encounter with criminal and not reforms in the force.
Media coverage of parliamentary reforms was dominated by power-sharing debates.