Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Digital Journalism (MADJ)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Nyakundi Nyamboga

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Rose Kimani


Graduate School of Media and Communications


The media in Kenya has been under much pressure to remodel the news business to attract revenue amidst technology disruption, tough regulations and defamation cases. This study set out to evaluate the impact of defamation judgments in the coverage of corruption in Kenya. It employed questionnaires and oral interviews as ways or tools of gathering data. Data was collected at two levels: interviews with editors, and questionnaires administered to journalists. Purposive sampling was used to select Nation Media Group (NMG) and Standard Group (SG) in Nairobi as the study locations and a sample of 10 editors. In addition, 242 journalists were randomly selected for the survey. At the same time, the editorial policies of the two media houses were reviewed. At the same time, a thematic approach was applied while analysing interviews conducted by the researcher on the editors. The study established that the two media houses had not reviewed their editorial policies despite the judgments handed by the court. It also established that the media houses have processes to deal with defamatory information in the pre-production stage. However, there are no guidelines for dealing with post-production grievances even in the digital era. The study established that the two media houses have strategies to cushion themselves from defamation as journalists continue their work. It concluded that they needed to do more than the punitive measures to encourage journalists to investigate and cover corruption issues without fear of sanctions and being sued for defamation.