Date of Award
Master of Arts in Digital Journalism (MADJ)
Graduate School of Media and Communications
This study is an exploration of the opportunities digital technologies present for women in media. Digital technologies have been praised for providing opportunities to journalism as a whole but little is known regarding those offered to women in newsrooms. The objectives of this study were to: (a) determine new ways women are participating in journalism because of digitisation, (b) establish the new forms of journalism where women have thrived and (c) explore the structures that support women working with digital technologies in the newsroom. The theory that guided the study was Technological Determinism. It employed the phenomenological research tradition. The researcher conducted 12 in-depth interviews with purposefully sampled research participants from five media houses in Kenya: Nation Media Group, Standard Group, Mediamax, Royal Media Services, and Radio Africa Group. Data were analysed thematically and presented in a narrative format. The study did not find an association between digital technologies and women's rise in the media. The results suggest that digital technologies have created substantial opportunities for women in the newsroom as sources, gatherers and decision-makers but the bulk of these lie outside the newsroom where women have used these digital technologies to reinvent and rebrand themselves as content creators, content aggregators and influencers and this is where they have thrived. The results also showed that the research participants found the current structures in digital departments inadequate and in some cases, non-existent. The study concluded that digital technologies offer great potential and opportunities for women in newsrooms but there are barriers, including structures in the newsroom, that need to be addressed for these women to fully benefit. Such structures include gender-sensitive workplace policies, flexi-time, mentorship and flexi-assignments. The study recommends for appropriate gender-sensitive policies, training and mentorship should be implemented by media houses to help them tap fully into the benefits of digital technologies for women.
Oneya, F. P. (2020). Opportunities digital technologies present for women in media: multi-case study of newsrooms in Kenya (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, East Africa.