Magazine article New Internationalist

Media Switch Off

Magazine article New Internationalist

Media Switch Off

Article excerpt


Kenya is seen as having one of the most diverse and vibrant media landscapes in East Africa. But a controversial six-day media switch-off has put the country's news organizations at loggerheads with the government.

Three major television stations - Citizen Television, NTV and KTN News - were taken off the air on 30 January because they broadcast an opposition rally in Uhuru Park, Nairobi, where opposition leader Raila Odinga swore himself in as the 'People's President'.

The unofficial inauguration happened three months after the October 2017 presidential election, which Odinga and his supporters boycotted. He claimed the latest election - which itself was a re-run of the August 2017 ballot that was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court - was illegitimate.

The government accused the media houses that broadcast Odinga's swearing-in event of being party to 'treason' and accused the opposition of trying to overthrow the government.

In the case of KTN News, the broadcaster's signals were turned off. …

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