Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Digital Journalism (MADJ)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Lydia Radoli

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Hesbon Owilla


Graduate School of Media and Communications


This study analysed the content programming on Kenyan TV and established the factors that inform TV managers' preference for foreign content and the attendant effects such preferences have on the local filming/production industry. This research was guided by three objectives, to investigate: What is in the programming menu of Kenyan TV stations. The factors that inform TV programming managers preference for foreign TV content and the ways that programming of foreign content influence the local filming/production industry. This study was anchored on two theories that is the cultural imperialism theory and the political economy of mass media theory. This research employed a mixed methods approach in data collection whereby it used a code sheet, a survey questionnaire and in-depth interview guide as its data collection tools. Four Free to Air TV stations, TV programming managers and top local content producers were purposively sampled from the target population. The four TV stations had their programming menu analysed in a week with the use of a code sheet which had time blocks to guide the researcher while collecting data. The results revealed that foreign content was prevalent in all the four TV stations. Also, out of the the four TV stations, KTN Home had a significantly high amount of foreign content. Moreover, a survey questionnaire was administered online to the TV programming managers. The findings indicated that the major factors that influence the TV stations programming schedule were advertisers, cost, and media owners. Furthermore, the results from the in-depth interviews conducted on the local content producers revealed that the propagation of foreign content on Kenya’s TV programming had stifled and chocked the local filming/production industry. In conclusion, this study recommended that the programming code should be sternly implemented on Free to Air TV stations to promote more of local content. In addition, clearly define what local content is meant to consist of. It also advocated the collaboration between TV programming managers and local content producers to create a condusive and thriving creative economy where both parties benefit. Proper structures and systems should be established for this partnership to be a reality. This is through having favourable contracts and a clear understanding of the business aspect of content creation and broadcast.