Daily Nation 1998: Homosexuality ‘takes root’ in Kenya

The Curator
Arguably Kenya’s first-ever exclusive printed article, on a major newspaper, about homosexuality. From Daily Nation, June 24, 1998

The media plays a prominent role in influencing people’s attitudes. Historically perception of the LGBTIQ community has been negative. Under the penal code, homosexual acts are considered illegal and punishable.

The LGBTIQ community has taken a proactive role to enhance affirmative visibility in the media. Kenyan media has recorded significant growth in the last 10 years due to the growth of digitisation: analog to digital and 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 the 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 the LGBTIQ Community

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 presented 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 felt that the media is right in highlighting the happenings in the society and should not, therefore, hide the issue.

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