Coverage of reproductive health issues in Kenya's Print Media: A case of two Kenyan Dailies
Reproductive health is central to our existence. It is also critical to development, especially in third world countries where development and poverty eradication continue to be elusive. The mass media have a role to play in promoting reproductive health. This study analyzes reproductive health issues reported in Kenya's print media. Reproductive health issues here include HIVj AIDS, family planning, sexual health (sexually transmitted infections), abortion, sexual violence, adolescent reproductive health, sexuality, female genital mutilation, and maternal health. The study answers such questions as: What aspects of reproductive health receive coverage in Kenya's print media? For those that receive coverage, what type of coverage is it - news coverage or in-depth and insightful coverage that can educate readers? And, what level of importance is given to reproductive health issues? The study analyzed the content of two mainstream daily newspapers in Kenya i.e. Nation and The Standard over a period of six months. The findings show that HIVjAIDS and se~ violence, especially rape, receive most coverage by Kenyan print media as compared to the other reproductive health issues. Also, reproductive health issues are mainly covered as news reports; as such, these reports do not provide much educational information for readers that could possibly promote reproductive health. Finally, not much importance is given to reproductive health issues since these issues hardly make headlines in Kenyan newspapers. These findings point to the need for continuous sensitization of journalists and media owners, and provision of information, on the magnitude of reproductive health problems in the country and the impact these have on achieving set development goals. This should be done by reproductive health experts/researchers, government, program implementers, donors, among others.
CitationResearch Project submitted to the School of Journalism in partial fulfillment of the Award of a Masters of Arts Degree in Communication Studies
- Nairobi ADHL