Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Digital Journalism (MADJ)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Nancy Booker

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Thrity Engineer,


Graduate School of Media and Communications


This study sought to investigate the implications monetization strategies of the digital native media houses operating in Kenya have on the quality of the journalism produced in digital newsrooms. This is prompted by the challenges experienced by media houses in generating revenue and the tremendous disruption in the media industry occasioned by technology. Digital native media houses largely depend on revenue streams built on programmatic channels and social media platforms. New entrants of tech giants have also drastically changed the media landscape as they eat into the revenue initially taken by the media players, which has posed a threat to the media industry. In addition, dependency on programmatic channels has changed how journalism is produced, distributed and monetized. Has this had any effect on the quality of journalism produced in such digital newsrooms? In cases where digital native media’s source of revenue is programmatic, can they survive without subscribing to stringent policies set by the tech giants? Is there a solution? Using the case study approach, it will glean insights from a purposive sample of respondents drawn from the leading digital native media houses in Kenya, Tuko Media, and Pulse Kenya. The research takes a qualitative research and a case study method to sample managing directors, managing editors and senior editors all based in Nairobi where the offices are located. It seeks to answer the following questions using interviews (i) What strategies do digital native media houses use to maximize revenue generation? (ii) What challenges do native media houses face when making editorial decisions? and (iii) Does monetization of content affect editorial decisions on quality journalism? The findings of this study will be analysed and presented thematically and will be of significance to the Kenyan digital media and the regional media landscape as they are likely to find application in any digital newsroom.