PRINT MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE BAN ON IMPORTATION OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS IN KENYA: A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF DAILY NATION AND THE EAST AFRICAN

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ABSTRACT
This study examines the print media coverage of the 2012 ban on importation of genetically modified food in Kenyan for the period between 2012 and 2013. The study employed a mixed qualitative research approach involving content analysis and interviews as data collection approaches. The study identifies and analyses articles from two print newspapers, Daily Nation and The EastAfrican, with the view to investigate the trend in reporting of perceived risks and benefits of the ban and to assess the various views on genetically modified foods published by the two newspaper in the period before and after the ban. Drawing on the agenda-setting and framing theories, a comprehensive analysis was carried out on the articles. The study employed a qualitative research approach with the use of content analysis of the articles of the ban on Genetically Modified Foods and interviews as the main tools for data collection. Interviews with 10 individuals constituting eight student biotechnology researchers, a long-term researcher and a county advisor on biotechnology products, were conducted to gain a holistic view of the perception of the nature and quality of reporting on the ban on Genetically Modified Foods by the scientist in the period leading to and immediately after the ban. Analysis was achieved through coded interviews, summary of the study was presented in form of graphs and charts, and comparison of compatible data from content analysis output and coded output from interviews. Disparities in view between the scientific and journalistic community are highlighted hence providing insight into the quality of reporting on contemporary scientific issues and shedding light on gaps for future research alongside a summary of findings drawn from the study. Findings from content analysis shed light on the contribution of the publications to public debate on important scientific occurrences as represented by the ban on genetically modified organisms in Kenya.

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