State of Kenyan media survey 2021 report launched

By Samuel Ouma

Mr. David Omwoyo, CEO MCK

The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) on Monday, January 31, 2022, launched the state of media performance 2021 based on public perception in Nairobi.

The survey was categorized in four groups namely Television, Radio, Print and online and a sample of 3589 respondents were interviewed across the country.

It was conducted between November 30 and December 19, 2021.

The report states that there are 85 television stations, over 200 radio stations and more than 100 online publication platforms in the country.

According to the survey, 58 per cent of Kenyans interview consume TV content on a typical day, which translates to more than 16 million people aged above 15 years. The average time per day spent on watching TV is two hours, lower than the global average time spent watching TV, which is 3 hours 24 minutes.

News, entertainment, religious and sports are the most watched content on television. While 70  per cent of content is local, the other 30 is foreign.

Citizen TV, KTN Home and NTV were listed as the most watched televisions in the East African country.

It was also found that 74 per cent of Kenyans consume radio content. The average time per day spent listening to radio is 2 hours, higher than the global average time spent on listening to radio, which is 1 hour.

Many people access radio content via FM radio receiver devices and mobile phones while the rest through set top boxes, digital apps and online platforms.

The five most listened radio in Kenya include Radio Citizen, Radio Jambo, Kameme FM. Radio Maisha nd KBC Radio.

“Most Kenyans prefer radio stations broadcasting in Swahili and vernacular as opposed to those using English language,” said Mr. David Omwoyo, CEO MCK.

On print content, only 25 per cent of Kenyans read newspaper for various reasons from news, politics to sports. Researchers found that 46 per cent of Kenyans purchase hard copy, while 27 per cent access them through online subscriptions.

Nation Newspaper, The Standard Newspaper and the People Daily are the famous papers in Kenya. The People Daily is not doing well to surprise of many people despite being offered for free.

Television leads as the main source of news 35 per cent, followed by radio (31 per cent), social media (24 per cent), friends and family (4 per cent) and 3 per cent stated online news websites while 1 per cnet use social media icons and newspapers.

The survey also discovered that entertainment, news and networking are the top reasons why people use social media in the country with the average time spent on social media platforms being three hours daily. This is higher than the global average time spent on social media, which is 2 hours 24 minutes.

The most accessed social media platforms in Kenya are WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube. Kenyans use smartphones, desktops, normal handsets with internet and smart TVs and watches to access these platforms.

However, public trust in the media continues to wane every year with. The 23 per cent of the respondents had little or no trust in the media, while 23 per cent of them had a lot of trust. Additionally, 53 per cent had some trust with the media, showing skepticisms with media content.

The survey also raised many concerns with Media Houses including poor signal from time to time,limited coverage on matters affecting rural areas, too much coverage of political matters and biased content coverage.

Other concerns are insufficient local sports coverage, limited educational and children’s programs and local content, high use of the English language in TV contents and voices of people from rural areas are not adequately included when holding crucial national discussions.

It was also reported that other contents are encouraging vices like gambling, violence and school arsons and some adverts are misleading.

Media Houses have been urged to improve signals, increase coverage on local matters and ensure consumer protection.

Speaking at the event, Principal Secretary, State Department of Broadcasting and Telecommunication Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Ms Esther Koimett urged journalists to uphold code of ethics as they gather information to educate, inform and entertain Kenyans.

Reporters without boarders report had ranked Kenya in the position of 102 worldwide out of 180 with a score of 33.65 in terms of media freedom.

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