The role of the print media in highlighting defilement of minors in Kenya: .

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Kampala International University, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
In the recent past. sexual crimes have been on the increase in Kenya. The police report published in The Daily Nation July 18 th 2005 edition qualifies this by stating that ''Rape becomes top crime in Kenya ... The report also reveals that defilement cases are now on the increase. This study investigates how the Kenya print media handles the issue of defilement of minors. It is based on the premise that the media has a crucial role to play in reducing the incidences of defilement. The objective of the study was to examine the role of the print media in highlighting defilement of minors in Kenya. The significance accorded to news on defilement or minors. and the frequency of reporting are criterion used to determine whether the media sets the agenda in reporting cases of defilement. The contents of The Daily Nation between January to June 2005 were examined with the purpose of' revealing how the cases of defilement have been reported. The content analysis investigated the significance accorded to the stories and the frequency of reporting. The survey elicited views from the public on what they perceive to be the role of the media in reporting and suggestions on how it can be improved. The study of'The Daily Nation newspaper reveals that little is reported on defilement of minors. In the period under study. only two stories were placed in the section of the newspaper that highlights important national and international issues. The survey revealed that many people get information of national importance from the media. However there were concerns that the media needs to do more than merely mentioning the incidents. The study concludes that although the press reports the defilement cases. they need to give the stories significant coverage in order to alert the society on how heinous defilement is. and what it does to the minors. Being the voiceless in the society, the minors rely on the press to highlight their plight. It is recommended therefore that. the press should do more investigative reporting. and not just mere reporting.
A dissertation submitted to the faculty of social sciences as partial fulfillment for the award of a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication of Kampala International University
Print media, Defilement of minors, Daily nation, Kenya