Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Digital Journalism (MADJ)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Wambui Wamunyu


Graduate School of Media and Communications


The notion of whether children are consuming age-friendly media content has always been a subject of debate. This qualitative study aimed to explore parental guidance of pre-teenage media content on smart mobile devices in Kampala. The objectives of this study were: to establish the smart mobile devices that pre-teenage children have access to in Kampala, to establish the kind of media content pre-teenage children consume in Kampala, to establish the guidance parents provide to their pre- teenage children in regards to children’s media consumption as well as to explore what informs the decision-making concerning the choice of content the parents choose for their children. The theoretical framework adopted for this study was parental mediation theory, which examined the role of differences in parent-child interactions regarding media use and consumption. The researcher used a qualitative approach and Key Informant Interviews as a data collection method in relation to parental guidance of children. The researcher sampled 16 parents with supporting expert opinions from a children’s advocate, counsellor and media content programmer/producer through the purposive sampling technique. The researcher used thematic analysis to analyze the collected data, and the findings were presented as themes in a narrative style. The findings show that most parents are aware of a few parental guidance strategies from harmful media content but still face challenges of protecting their children from external influences like their peers at school and algorithms from these mobile apps. Notably, the study concluded that smart mobile devices are readily available for children to use, and thus, there is a need for stringent measures from other stakeholders like Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), media fraternities, and telecom companies to support parents in ensuring that children are protected for harmful media content.