An evaluation of the factors that impact on the practice of investigative journalism in Kenya : a case study of the Nation Media Group

Author: Mwamba, James Onyango

Awarding University: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Level : MA

Year: 2012

Holding Libraries: University of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library ;

Subject Terms: Journalism ; Nation Media Group ; Socioeconomic factors ; Advertising ;

Pages: 76

Advisors: Wairimu Gichohi


This study sought to evaluate the factors that impact on the practice of investigative journalism in Kenya using the Nation Media Group as a case study. It begins with a definition of an investigative journalist in Chapter One and gives a background of investigative journalism in Kenya, then briefly discusses the factors that have influenced the practice of the genre in Kenya. The chapter also discusses the problem statement where it is argued that Kenya needs investigative journalism now more than ever. It is argued that the development and practice of investigative journalism in Kenya has been informed by socio-economic, political ethical, professional and legal factors that merit studying. The general objective of this study is to evaluate the positive and negative factors that impact on the practice of investigative journalism in Kenya. Chapter Two has the literature review that informed this study. This section presents arguments from various scholars, and then traces the idea of investigation in journalism back to 1885 in England and the rise of modern-day investigative journalism to 1974 in America. This section also discusses socio-economic, political, legal and industry factors that have shaped the practice of investigative journalism in Kenya. Theories that guided the study are also discussed. Chapter Three discusses the methodology employed. This study uses a mixed approach as a methodology and employs both quantitative and qualitative approaches to research. The section also discusses methods of data collection, analysis and presentation employed. Chapter Four has data analysis, presentation and interpretation. The study employed SPSS to analyse data and uses tables and graphs as to present findings. The findings are discussed in prose. Chapter Five has a summary of the findings, recommendations and conclusion. One of the key findings of the study is that while education equips journalists with knowledge and experience, the success of an investigative journalist largely depends on one's practical skills. The study also found out that socio-economic and political factors play a huge role in promoting or hindering investigative journalism. The study concludes that advertisers are the elephant in the house and makes recommendations to improve investigative journalism in Kenya.