DW Akademie in Kenya | Africa | DW | 20.05.2019

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DW Akademie in Kenya

In Kenya, DW Akademie works with local partners to combat hate speech, promote accurate and independent reporting, and help make media house financially sustainable. Especially in times of the pandemic.

Kenya is ridden with conflicts. Given the political polarization and ethnic tensions, hate speech, misinformation and propaganda have increased at a disturbing rate. Although prejudices and stereotypes are rooted in the population, they are reflected or fueled by the media. Media houses trying to counteract this with well-researched stories and conflict-sensitive reporting often hit a wall because many media houses are owned by politicians who stoke up ethnic conflicts and support biased reporting. This is an additional challenge for many smaller media outlets that are struggling to survive financially and lack the equipment or staff to produce skilled reporting.

Despite these problems, media at the national level still strive to fulfil their role as a social conscience and political watchdog. Large profitable newspaper publishers in the country's capital continue to uncover corruption scandals, criticize political decisions or report on social wrongdoings. However, media ownership is highly concentrated: five large media organizations own almost the entire broadcasting sector.

Our activities

To help counter hate speech and misinformation, DW Akademie works with local experts and partner organizations to support radio stations in rural areas. The goal is for these stations to report independently, fairly and accurately. Experts from a so-called iLAB monitor Kenyan reporting and uncover disinformation and misinformation.

A network of investigative research teams helps them determine whether something is true or fake, whether a source is reliable or not, and to recognize biased information. The teams have different thematic focuses, for example COVID-19 and health, public spending and corruption, extremism and hate speech.

To help stations create a sounder financial base, DW Akademie together with Kenyan experts, is also advising media houses on developing viable business segments and supporting each other in a newly-founded association for stations.

This consortium is to strengthen the stations' bargaining power when dealing with political decision makers and advertisers.

Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Program Director: Jutta vom Hofe

Local partners: Afrika Check, Aga Khan University, DW Akademie Alumni Chapter Kenya, Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE), Code for Kenya, Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Grand Wave Consortium, Kenya Correspondents AssociationTransparency International

Main Focus: Professionalism and economic sustainability of the media sector, management consultancy, verification, investigative journalism, digital journalism

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