The media plays a prominent role in influencing people’s attitudes. Historically, the perception of the LGBTIQ community has been negative.
HIV and AIDS reporting, in the 1980s in Kenya, especially where mention of homosexuals and other Key Populations (sex workers, for example) was very stereotypical, sensationalized, and biased.
However, from the early 2000s, the Kenyan LGBTIQ community has taken a proactive role to enhance affirmative visibility in the media.
Media Landscape in Kenya
The Kenyan media scene has recorded significant growth in the last 10 years or more in part to the growth of digitization: from analog to digital and rise of social media.
The media is dominated by five privately-owned media outlets with interest in radio, TV, and newspapers.
Kenya’s media draws its jurisprudence from Article 34 of the Constitution which is Freedom to hold an opinion, receive ideas and information and Freedom to communicate ideas and information without interference. This freedom does not extend to propaganda, for war, incitement to violence hate speech and advocacy to hatred.
Further, from the Constitution, journalists are expected to write a fair, accurate and unbiased story on matters of public interest with all sides of the story reported even as much as they should be independent in their engagement.
What is the perfect relationship between the media and LGBTIQ
In a 2014 research, 63.1% of the respondents said they were not happy with the way media presented homosexuality while 36.9% of the respondents were happy with the way media present homosexuality.
Though a big margin of people who participated in the study were not happy with the way media present homosexuality, they believe it is uncultured, unacceptable for the media to talk about homosexuality.
There was also a good number that feels that the media is right in highlighting the happenings in the society and should not, therefore, hide the issue.