Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Digital Journalism (MADJ)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Joseph Odindo

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Hesbon Owilla


Graduate School of Media and Communications


Previous elections in Kenya have raised questions about the credibility of the polls with disputes arising after results are announced. The 2017 nullification of the presidential election results by the Supreme Court pointed fingers at the electoral body, IEBC for illegalities and irregularities in the way the body conducted the elections and the tallying process. However, despite the nullification of the 2017 elections, issues of integrity of the elections rose again towards the 2022 general elections, with the citizenry turning to the media for clarity. At media industry level, editors made the decision to tally and transmit results direct from the polling stations independent of the electoral body and media houses invested heavily in an attempt to actualise this. It is within this tenet, that this study sought to analyse the infrastructure used by one of the leading media houses, Royal Media Services to offer transparency in the electoral process through results tallying and to make recommendations on how independent the media can a provide a robust watchdog and constructive a role in the electoral process. The objectives of the study were to analyse the infrastructure deployed by RMS, describe how the vote tallying system contributed to a transparent electoral process, analyse the challenges faced and the lessons learnt in the efforts by RMS and make recommendations on how media can support the electoral process and democracy. The study adopted a qualitative research approach. In depth interviews, observations and Focus Group Discussions were used to collect data. The findings indicate that there is need for cooperation and pooling of resources among media houses to successfully conduct independent vote tallying. In addition, the study further determined that for media to play a role in checking the transparency and integrity of the elections, the needs to be massive investment getting data directly from all the polling stations. The researcher recommends that for media to succeed in vote tallying, media leaders must leverage on technology and embrace coopetition, that is cooperate in bringing together resources and innovating around use of technology and personnel while at the same time compete on delivering content to their target audience to retain or even increase their audience share. Based on the findings the researcher suggests a guideline that can be useful for future vote tallying initiatives by the media.