Discuss the role of media and its contribution to escalation of conflict.
Role of Media in Conflict:
Contributions of Media to 2007/2008 Post Election Violence in Kenya
Among the many factors that can affect the occurrence of violence, the role of the media is indubitably one of them. A concern about the role of media in escalation of conflict have been expressed by the many incidences of election-related disputes in most countries in Africa. Although there are many dynamics involved in determination of whether violence may or may not occur, the role of the media is an important factor that has to be considered. This article seeks to examine the role of media in conflict escalation, prior to and after the 2007 post-elections violence in Kenya. The Kenyan media played an important role in creating a wedge between the differing parties and tribes, and as a consequence a simplified, whitewashed picture of the violence and the core issues that led to it.
It is, herein, argued that the media, especially Kenya's vernacular radio stations, had a role to play in escalating the ethnic violence that erupted after the December 2007 general election. The analysis offered bring to the forefront the role that media institutions play in fanning political conflict, and present concepts that can be used to study the responsibility of media in conflict situations.
On 27th December 2007, Kenyan voters went to the polls to elect the country's next president in a hotly-contested election. The front-runners were the incumbent president Mwai Kibaki of Party of National Unity and the opposition leader Raila Odinga of Orange Democratic Movement. On December 30, the election results were announced that Mwai Kibaki had won and was hurriedly sworn in at State House. Raila Odinga's supporters immediately took to the streets disputing...