According to an annual survey on the state of digital news issued on Wednesday (Jun 15) by the Reuters Institute for Journalism at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, Citizen TV has the broadest reach in Kenya.
According to the survey, Citizen TV has a weekly reach of 72 percent in the TV, radio, and print category. It is followed by KTN (55%), Daily Nation (54%), NTV (41%), and The Standard Newspaper (41%). Citizen Digital has a 58 percent weekly reach in the online category, followed by Opera News at 53 percent and Nation Online at 48 percent.
Despite the command, Kenyans trust news from KTN, Daily Nation and NTV more. The report further adds that 55% of Kenyans prefer to read news while 22% prefer to watch the news.
“Almost a fifth (17%) say videos don’t add to anything that would otherwise be in a text story, 13% struggle with technical issues when trying to watch videos, and 8% worry about cost or data charges – much higher in African countries such as Kenya (35%) and Nigeria (35%).” the report reads.
Overall, trust in the news in Kenya dipped slightly to 57 per cent following a bump in the year before due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although it remians high as compared to other countries.
When it comes to the types of misinformation that people claim to see, the report reveals that questionable health claims about COVID-19, especially those from anti-vaccination groups, are still the most prevalent across most locations, even in 2021. Notable exceptions include Kenya, where political misinformation is more prevalent, as well as Colombia and the Philippines, both of which held elections this year.
“Global concerns about false and misleading information remain stable this year, ranging from 72% in Kenya and Nigeria to just 32% in Germany and 31% in Austria. People say they have seen more false information about Coronavirus than about politics in most countries, but the situation is reversed in Turkey, Kenya, and the Philippines, amongst others.” reads the report.
The report further indicates 86 percent of Kenyans rely on social media for news, while 73 percent rely on television. Print media has dropped by four units to 32 percent.
Facebook and WhatsApp are still among the most popular social media platforms. However, TikTok has been growing in popularity.
“In African countries such as Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya, WhatsApp (55%) and Telegram (18%) combined are more important for finding, sharing, and discussing news than Facebook (59%).” the report says.
The report’s data demonstrates large and fast expanding TikTok usage, particularly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, as well as across Eastern Europe. Usage is still primarily among those under the age of 25, but it is spreading to all age groups in nations with higher levels of usage, such as Kenya, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil, and Peru.