Media Focus on Africa has launched a new and exciting initiative called ‘The Annual Kenya Media Week’ whose main goal is to promote the critical role of traditional media in advancing and sustaining democratic governance in Kenya.

We have developed this timely initiative because we believe that the current global changes in media technology and socio-economic status of audiences have proved disruptive to the media industry as we know it. For a long time print, radio and television dominated the way audiences consumed news. That is changing fairly quickly. In 2017 the average person spent 5 hours a day on the three platforms, that’s a decline from 6 hours a day in 2010.

Traditional media consumption globally fell 13% over the last 7 years. Currently TV remains the largest single medium by consumption globally averaging 170 minutes of viewing per day compared to 140 minutes of viewing per day for the internet. By 2019 the gap in terms of consumption between TV and the internet is forecast to narrow to just 7 minutes. New forms of content production and distribution are on the rise. Options for advertisers and audiences have increased significantly. Because of the new options, media outlets have seen reduction in their everyday audiences. This has had impact on sales and advertising revenue so much so that in certain cases sustainability has been jeopardized and/or forced severe cost cutting. Most broadcasters and newspapers are under pressure.


MFA will launch the first edition of the Annual Kenya Media Week in the month of August . It will be a  3-day event characterized by open lectures, panels and discussions  key media stakeholders and interested parties.

Prior to the event, MFA will convene three breakfast meetings with key media practitioners to discuss challenges journalism faces in Kenya today.  Each breakfast meeting will focus on a critical issue affecting journalism today;

1st Breakfast in March: is there a crisis in the business model of journalism?

Audiences have evolved, the market has been transformed and especially the Internet has brought in a host of new competitors. The role of news media in people's life has changed and there is more choice in where to get your news. Newspapers and broadcasters have been losing audiences and advertising revenues making cutbacks across the board leaving journalists stretched thin. The business models that paid for journalism in the past are broken, and in many cases, beyond repair. Technology has changed the way people communicate and the way the media business works.

2nd Breakfast in April: fake news and interest driven journalism

With falling barriers to entry into media, the lines separating independent journalism, public relations, advertising, activism and propaganda have blurred. Corporates and governments have entered what was previously deemed journalism arena not always with public interest. With less money to pay for public-interest journalism, newsrooms struggle to maintain their ethical base. Problems that have always been on the radar: political bias, undue corporate influence, stereotypes and conflicts of interest are now magnified.

3rd Breakfast in June: journalism and democracy

Vibrant journalism has proved to support for democracies. We need reporters scrutinizing those in power, a plural media system, investigative journalism as well as a steady diet of daily news. Journalism and democracy, both are indispensable to each other. Watchdog is no more on the beat. Because of financial limitations, media houses do not invest as they possibly should in investigative journalism. On the other hand, great journalism needs great media institutions, free of pressures, political and commercial belongings. Great journalism needs intuitional strength to criticize the wrong doings of people in power. This strength needs financial resources.

The overall democratic challenge is a shared one: how to fund professional journalism in the future, and how to ensure it manages to remain relevant in an ever more competitive media environment with thousands and thousands of offerings competing for our attention

There is need to bring media stakeholders together to think, discuss and look ahead to ensure citizens’ access to accurate information and protect professional and fact-driven journalism, both critical for Kenya’s fledgling democracy.

Call for concept notes on Innovative Journalism – June

In June, journalism schools, media houses and individual media practitioners will be invited to submit concept-notes with innovative ideas to tackle challenges around the three topics discussed in the 3 breakfast meetings. Innovative ideas will be selected and will be presented in different stalls during the media week.

As result of the stakeholder’s engagement during the breakfast meetings and the media week, a publication of the consensus arrived at regarding the future of the media in Kenya shall be published for present and future reference.

MFA will hold the media week every year.

The project is supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

Project activities 

How is Television Affecting your Children?

Television has through the years proven to be an important socialization agent in children’s lives; socialization is no longer solely reserved to the influences of family, peers and other people in children’s immediate environment. Television stands out as a key medium with greatest socialization effects exceeding all other media in its influence on young children across the globe.

Journalism urged to preserve objectivity, embrace new media and invest in innovation in order to grow – Kenya Media Week 2018

Television, Radio and newspaper media have been urged to stick to its ethics of verification, in depth analysis and fact checking in order to preserve the truth in journalism and countering fake news. Additionally, the media has been urged be creative in order to boost its survival by investing in research to fuel innovation.


KENYA MEDIA WEEK: Call for Papers on contemporary journalism trends

Media Focus on Africa and Daystar University’s Department of Media and Film Studies jointly issue a call for papers focused on business, content and democratic concerns related to contemporary journalism in the region.