PRINT MEDIA COVERAGE OF REFUGEE CRISIS IN KENYA: A CASE STUDY OF DAILY NATION AND STANDARD NEWSPAPERS’ COVERAGE OF THE DADAAB REFUGEE REPATRIATION

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ABSTRACT
This study sought to establish how the print media in Kenya covered the repatriation of refugees from Kenya‟s Dadaab refugee camp to Somalia. A mixed methods research approach was used in this study. The study‟s target population included all newspaper articles published by Daily Nation and Standard between May 2016 and May 2017. Drawing on the agenda-setting and priming, gate keeping and framing theories, a comprehensive analysis was carried out on the articles. The researcher used purposive sampling method to choose articles on Dadaab refugee repatriation. A total of 89 articles were found and were then subjected to a guiding schedule of questions in order to establish how the print media covered repatriation of refugees from Dadaab. The study‟s objectives included determining of the frequency of coverage of the refugee repatriation exercise, assessment of the priming of stories on the refugee repatriation exercise in Dadaab and the framing of the refugee repatriation exercise .This study‟s findings revealed that the newspapers allocated a higher percentage of space to news articles. In the Daily Nation, news articles made up 79% of the total articles on Dadaab repatriation between May 2016 and May 2017. In the Standard newspaper, news articles made up an equally high percentage of 71% as compared to opinions which made up 25% and editorials at 3%. The study also found that, in priming analysis, it was revealed that the Standard had a total of 28 articles on its inside pages and only 3 articles on its front pages. Daily Nation had a total of 56 articles on its inside pages, 2 on its front pages and none on the back pages. Lastly, humanitarian and security frames were the most popular frames in the newspapers‟ reporting of refugee repatriation for both newspapers. The study recommends that print media should frame articles on refugees as an international legal issue. Also, the media should increase the frequency of its coverage of issues relating to refugees and stateless people living within the borders of the country. And, the media should prime stories regarding refugees in general which is in line with its role as a public watchdog.

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