Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Digital Journalism (MADJ)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Nyakundi Nyamboga

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Pater Kimani


Graduate School of Media and Communications


This study sought to analyse online visual images of the Kenya security forces in the Battle of El Adde that occurred on January 15, 2016 in Gedo, Somalia. The study specifically examined the framing of these visual images, the journlistsic and ethical practices employed by online platforms when selecting and publishing images of terror on Kenyan security forces, and the extent to which the framing of these online visual images of terror manifested elements of social responsibility as captured in The Code of Cunduct for the Practice of Journalism as entreched in the Second Schedule of the Media Act 2013. The study analysed a total of 48 visual images purposively selected from five major news websites and adopted the descriptive content analysis design to quantitatively describe manifest features. The findings indicated that 80.0 percent of images published on the news websites projected the Kenyan government and its security forces as losing the war against terrorism as most images published showed more causalities suffered on the Kenyan side. To research used interview guide to address other elements of the study that could not be analysed quantitatively. The research findings from the interviews conducted showed that digital news websites indeed framed visual images of the Kenya security forces in the Battle of El Adde – and adhered to journalistsic and ethical practices in sourcing, selecting or publishing images of terror from the Battle of El Adde. Some of the journalistic principals that came into play included Professional Accountability as captured in Article 3 (1) – where the journalists were required to be independent and free from those seeking influence or control over news content. Further, when publishing images, the journalist pointed out that they would adhere to Article 15: Intrusion into grief and shock. In such incidences, the journalists were required to use the images with sensitivity and discretion.