A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF SEEDS OF GOLD AND SMARTHARVEST MAGAZINES

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ABSTRACT
Kenya has put a lot of emphasis on agriculture as a sector that not only stimulates economic growth but also hugely contributes to job creation. According to Kenya’s Vision 2030, agriculture has been identified as one of the sectors under the economic pillar that can support the anticipated annual economic growth rate of 10%. Using a comparative content analysis methodology, the study aimed at investigating how mainstream print media cover agriculture in Kenya. The aim of the study was to investigate how agricultural magazines published by Nation and Standard dailies cover agriculture. The study’s objectives were to study the trends in coverage of various agricultural subsectors, prominence accorded to various subsectors and frequency with which various narratives are covered. The study had a population of approximately two hundred and twenty four agricultural stories published by both Seeds of Gold and Smart Harvest between January 2016 and April 2016. Using both cluster and systematic sampling, a sample population of fifty six stories both from the Nation’s Seeds of Gold and Standard’s Smart Harvest was used to carry out the investigation. The study was guided by the theories of Agenda Setting and Knowledge Gaps Hypothesis and used mixed method approach to gather its data. In terms of frequency it was found that both magazines covered Dairy Farming more frequently than the other subsectors. Concerning prominence, it was found out that most of the stories are placed inside pages and that Dairy Farming and Horticulture were accorded more Editorial space than the other subsectors by both magazines. The study reveals that the two magazines are in the right track of setting the agricultural agenda in the country by according various subsectors the amount of coverage that they deserve. This trend is especially important as it contributes hugely to the country’s aim of achieving her Vision 2030 of having agriculture among those sectors that will play a key role in achieving this Vision. The study’s major recommendation is that stories on Climate Adaptations Strategies should be given the prominence and frequency they deserve so that farmers are sufficiently prepared to change their practices during this time of climate change.

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