Elections Media Strategy 2007

Description 

With the support of the UNDP Elections Assistance Programme MFA conducted a 'harmonised and issue-based' media campaign with a special focus on the 2007 General Elections in Kenya. The aim of this media campaign was to convey objective, unbiased and impartial information via the media on selected and thoroughly researched electoral topics, thus supporting the realisation of increased voter turnout and 'free and fair elections'.

Objectives:

  • Develop an issues-based approach to encourage discussion and reflection;
  • Reaching target audiences nationwide utilising national/local media platforms;
  • Supporting free and fair elections as well as increased voter turnout;
  • Unbiased and equitable access of all political parties/candidates to the media.

Besides radio and television the campaign incorporated new media applications such as internet and SMS and featured thematic Bill Boards, to stimulate the public at large on topical issues of relevance in the run-up to the elections. All media platforms were inter- and cross- linked. The strategy was firmly issue based and therefore - implicitly - worked as a civic education program promoting responsible citizen participation in the electoral process. The campaign promoted the election agenda and gave the public an opportunity to express their views on topical issues that were relevant during this election year such as: equitable allocation of resources; unemployment; ethnicity; security and human rights. Target groups: the population in both urban and rural areas with special focus on the youth, woman and people with disabilities.

Project activities 

Tyme Yetu Youth programme

A new Youth talk show that aired on NTV. The programme gave the youth across the country a chance to have their say and share their opinions on what issues are important to them politically and socially as the elections drew nearer.

Radio Documentaries

MFA worked closely with 11 national and vernacular stations to produce theme-based interviews and debates on the 2007 elections. These were aired on Citizen, Easy Fm, Kiss Fm, Classic Fm, KBC National Service.

Traning on electoral reporting

In preparation of the radio and television broadcast produced for the election campaign in Kenya of 2007, all show hosts and producers received an issue based training on the campaign topics and on electoral reporting.

Website elections assistance campaign

To support the media strategy for the 2007 general elections we developed a website in collaboration with Africa Interactive that provided background information on our progremmes and an opportunity to give feedback or view missed programmes.

For more information visit the campaign website.

Branding & Billboard campaign

For the Kenyan election assistance campaign of 2007, a special logo was designed. Full-page advertisements were developed on the main electoral topics under discussion in the campaign. In collaboration with the Electoral Commission of Kenya, those advertisements were shown on 42 billboards countrywide for 8 weeks.

Research on electoral topics

Thematic issues of the campaign included: The role of the youth in politics; Women in electoral politics; Enacting a new constitution; Political parties and their respective manifestos; Poverty and inequality and Unemployment; Ethnicity, incitement and hate speeches by the political aspirants; Public service delivery; Resource allocation and the issues around devolved funds; Political accountab

Louis Otieno Live on the Road

This cutting edge discussion program that travelled around the country gave Kenyans a chance to air their views during the run up to 2007 general Kenyan elections. Each province has a different set of problems, views and needs. This live show enabled everyone to have his or her voices heard on national television.

Vioja Mahakamani

Vioja Mahakamani is Swahili for Drama in the Courtroom. This show is played out in a courtroom complete with witnesses, a magistrate, the prosecution and the accused. This courtroom drama provides social commentary on the Kenyan social and criminal system and puts the realities of Kenyan culture on trial.

Vitimbi

Vitimbi is a sitcom played out around the family of Mr. Ojwang Hatari and his wife Mama Kayai (mother-of-Kayai) and focuses on the challenges they face as a family. This show has been on air for more than three decades in Kenya, and has elevated the use of cultural collision and ethnic accents to captivate viewers. The show has a huge number of viewers, mainly in the rural areas.

Results 

Election media strategy

Television

  • 12 Louis Otieno live on the road shows from 11 cities on Citizen Television
  • 8 Tyme Yetu, a new thematic youth talk show on Nation Television
  • 4 Vioja Mahakamani on KBC
  • 4 Vitimbi on KBC
  • 1 final show with John Sibi Okumu on Citizen and KBC Television

Radio

  • 91 thematic talkshows on 11 radio stations
  • 521 Voter Education Radio Features on 7 vernacular stations

SMS campaign

  • 30 thematic questions were asked on various platforms
  • 30,200 people participated in the SMS campaign
  • 38% through television and
  • 68% through newspaper advertisements
  • 72 civil society organisations were represented in the television shows

Billboards

  • 52 billboards for 8 weeks country wide
More
Country 
Partners & Donors
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
ICCO
Finnish Embassy
Butterfly Works
Africa Interactive
Africa News
UNDP and the joint donors
Baraka FM
Classic Radio
Egessa FM
Kameme FM
Kass FM
Mulembe FM
Musyi FM
Ramogi FM