NEWSPAPER FRAMING OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN KENYA

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ABSTRACT
This study sought to find out how newspapers frame sexual Violence in Kenya. Gender based violence and more specifically sexual violence is on the rise despite the media constantly highlighting these stories. Newspapers are powerful tools in shaping public opinion and changing mindsets and therefore the study set to find out how newspapers in Kenya frame sexual violence and why. Framing and Agenda Setting theories helped guide the researcher in identifying the frames used and the agenda they set when covering sexual violence. The fundamental goal of the study was to survey the degree and nature of newspaper scope of sexual violence in Kenya and the priority given to the stories. More specifically, the study sought to know the trend of repeated news and follow-ups regarding cases of sexual violence as well as analyze the pattern of coverage. A mixed methods approach was used where content analysis of the Daily Nation, Saturday Nation and Sunday Nation was done to get quantitative data and chief sub-editors and sub-editors interviewed to get qualitative data. In the findings, the study identified frames such as age and privacy and found that newspapers frequently cover sexual violence however; the articles are not given much prominence since most stories are published as short briefs. An editorial policy, personal conviction and social media trends dictated most follow-ups. The study recommends that newspapers vary how they cover sexual violence by doing in depth investigations and do more features to educate the public. Scholars can study how editorial policies influence news coverage.
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