WAR ON GRAFT

How media is bolstering the fight against corruption

Kenya is a country that has huge economic potential, but corruption has hindered the country from realizing this economic potential.

In Summary

• It is crucial to note that the war against fraud cannot be won without the participation of the press.

• Media is an influencer as explained by the agenda-setting theory on the role of mass media in influencing the public perception on corruption.

A vendor displays newspapers in a stand in Nairobi
A vendor displays newspapers in a stand in Nairobi
Image: FILE

Corruption is a worldwide problem and it fighting it has become a major concern globally.

In Kenya, graft networks are not only complex but viciously fight back and thus are hard to dismantle. The media has become of age and thus a critical player in this war.

Without the media, it would be hard to dismantle corruption networks in the country. Media is an influencer as explained by the agenda-setting theory on the role of mass media in influencing the public perception on corruption. Kenyans are now holding leaders to account and this is because the media has been educating the citizens on what to expect from their leaders. It is also allocating time and space highlighting corruption cases and offering editorial opinions that are meant to educate Kenyans on why they need to reject leaders who are corrupt.

 

It is crucial to note that the war against fraud cannot be won without the participation of the press. The Kenyan media has been playing a vital part in creating awareness as well as in putting the government in check and pressuring it to prosecute corruption cases. It is now clear that gatekeeping at various levels of management and the editorial has improved and that why many corruption stories are reported. The media is still experiencing numerous challenges such as political influence and the influence of the owners of the media firms.

Kenya is a country that has huge economic potential, but corruption has hindered the country from realizing this economic potential. The corruption challenges we are currently experiencing provides vital lessons for this country and is about time as a matter of urgency addressed this problem of corruption once and for all. This national crisis should provide a chance for political goodwill to address this vice once and for all. However, something this big and complex cannot be accomplished only by the DCI,the EACC and the DPP but needs bipartisan approach.

It will require the kind of collective action usually reserved for national emergencies. The far-reaching implications of corruption will not only affect the country creditworthiness but also affect long term development plans. This matter is so serious that as a country we need to pose and only move when this scourge is fully addressed and eliminated in our country. It is time us citizens saying enough is enough. The media on its part is playing its part in highlighting and condemning corruption and it’s up to the rest of us to join the media in holding our leaders accountable.