Romancing the Media: A Critical Interrogation of Political Communication in Presidential Elections in Kenya

Document Type

Book Chapter


Graduate School of Media and Communications


This chapter examines the political use of the media—both traditional and new, including social media—in Kenya’s political and democratic processes. It argues that political use of the media is premised on the fact that they provide information, platforms and forums for information sharing, debate and analysis, and space and tools for political engagement, networking, mobilisation and propaganda. However, a critical interrogation of media use reveals that access and use is skewed towards the political elite and their issues. Accordingly, the ordinary populace is at the receiving end of political communication but is not actively involved in creating and disseminating political messages. Yet, despite the growing appropriation and use of media for political communication and propaganda, there is no guarantee that media will help generate the votes needed to win political contests and presidential elections.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Springer International Publishing

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.