Challenges and Opportunities for Increasing Media Coverage of Climate Change in Kenya

Amb. Dr. John O. Kakonge


Globally, media coverage of climate change has been disappointing in both advanced and developing countries, Kenya included. This article addresses the need to educate and train African journalists so that they can report adequately on climate change and in doing so, help not only to raise awareness of climate change but also to increase understanding of the multiple aspects of the phenomenon. Although Kenya has an elaborate governance structure in support of climate change, coordination across key ministries, departments and institutions at national and county levels has been wanting. Coverage of climate change by Kenya’s main print media houses and television stations over the last decade (2010-2019) is investigated and found to be minimal. A survey of the opinions of the local media sets the parameters for a discussion of the current challenges faced in increasing media coverage of climate change. Lack of journalistic capacity, conflicting media priorities and inadequate funding to train and support journalists are major concerns. The paper concludes with a discussion on how media coverage could be improved to close the gaps in science journalism and, in particular, coverage of climate change in Kenya.

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