Media Council Report Names Most Biased Radio & TV Stations

A collage of a TV and Radio Studio.
A collage of a TV and Radio Studio.

A report by Media Council of Kenya (MCK) shows that some stations gave certain politicians more coverage over the last few months.

According to the report dated Friday, June 24, Media Council showed that vernacular radio stations were the most notorious when it comes to being unfair in their coverages.

The report by the Media Council focused on how the mainstream media has been reporting on 17 aspirants who had expressed strong interest in the presidential seat.

File Photo of Microphone in a radio station set up
File Photo of Microphone in a radio station set up

In the report, the Media Council stated that Anguo FM in Taita Taveta only held interviews exclusively with Governor Granton Samboja, while Ramogi FM primarily focused on Raila Odinga. 

Anguo never hosted any other gubernatorial candidate as was the case in the previous months.

"Ramogi FM that broadcasts in Dholuo focused on politics aligning with presidential candidate Raila Odinga, especially on matters touching the ODM party and Azimio la Umoja.

"Ene FM, based in Wote town, focused on Ukambani politics by giving more coverage to the OKA coalition that touched on Wiper leader, Kalonzo Musyoka," MCK reported.

Rift Valley based Kass FM was also put on the spot for only hosting guests affiliated with United Democratic Alliance (UDA) between March 28 and April 1, 2022.

After Deputy President William Ruto complained about unfair media coverage, the Media Council stated that in mid June 2022, there was increased coverage of Kenya Kwanza, in some cases overtaking Azimio, particularly on the radio platforms.

For the period between April and early June, Raila received 14,427 minutes on radio compared to Ruto who had 9,155.63 minutes and Safina Party presidential hopeful, Jimi Wanjigi, who got 484.23 minutes. Other candidates like Roots Party's George Wajackoyah received 29.17 minutes of coverage. 

The Azimio presidential candidate received 41,193.23 minutes on TV compared to his close competitor, William Ruto of UDA, who had 20,406.95 minutes. Wanjigi received 1,154.55 minutes and Wajackoya received only 321.11 minutes.

In terms of print media, The Star wrote 360 stories about Raila and 227 stories about Ruto. The Nation had 244 stories on Raila and 201 articles on the deputy president. The Standard had 267 articles on Raila and 154 about Ruto. The People Daily wrote 237 stories on Raila and 132 on Ruto.

KTN News had 495 stories on Raila and 336 on Ruto while Citizen TV had 486 on Raila and 279 on the DP. NTV had 313 stories covering the Azimio presidential candidate and 201 stories on Ruto.

"However, overall - Raila still leads in media space consumption. Radio remains king in promoting diversity in coverage. 95.8 per cent of coverage on presidential candidates during the week," the report read in part.

Notably, UDA presidential running mate, Rigathi Gachagua, received fewer media coverage compared to his Azimio La Umoja counterpart, Martha Karua.

UDA Running Mate Rigathi Gachagua (left) and Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi.
UDA Running Mate Rigathi Gachagua (left) and Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi.
Rigathi Gachagua

The also showed that Karua received 78.89 per cent coverage compared to Gachagua who got 20.99 per cent while Justina Wambui of Roots Party had 0.22 per cent. 

Notably, Agano Party presidential running mate, Ruth Mutua, received no coverage from the media. Karua had more coverage on print, TV and radio compared to the other three running mates.