Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Digital Journalism (MADJ)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Mr. Hesbon Owilla


Graduate School of Media and Communications


This study investigated the phenomenon of extrajudicial killings in Kenya by examining the journalists' understanding of the issue, the media framing of the articles, and the sourcing of the information. The news media, in its traditional role to inform and interpret, has the responsibility to provide the public with a balanced narrative on the issues that are of public interest, including deaths and killings of citizens. However, in the context of extrajudicial killings, the media’s role and significance have been tested due to the dilemma encountered. Journalists face challenges in their attempt to source for authoritative sources, especially in cases where the source is the police force that they need for credible information and are almost always the perpetrator of extrajudicial killings. Drawing on a comprehensive analysis of articles and interviews with journalists reporting on crime or extrajudicial killings, this research unveiled a significant and complex interplay between sourcing and the framing of articles on extrajudicial killings as well as the relationship between the story treatment and the appearance of a by-line on an article or not. The study employed a concurrent mixed method approach combining content analysis and interviews to analyse journalists' understanding of extrajudicial killings, media framing of the issue, and sources used. The findings established that the choice of sources significantly influenced the framing of articles on extrajudicial killings while shaping audience perceptions and attitudes toward extrajudicial killings. This study advocates for more studies on the coverage of extrajudicial killings in Africa. In conclusion, this study will inform future editorial decisions on allocating resources for in-depth, well-investigated and comprehensive coverage of extrajudicial killings stories.