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Kenya: traditional media remains most trusted news source

Kenya: traditional media remains most trusted news source

Traditional media in Kenya remains the most trusted source of news, with television as the highest, followed by radio and newspapers.

This is according to a recent study in the country led by strategic communications consultancy, Portland in collaboration with GeoPoll, a mobile surveying platform, titled 'the reality of fake news in Kenya.' The study also found that most Kenyans are well tuned to spotting false information in light of a growing mix of fake news in the country.

According to Kenya Tech News, this is the first-ever study on fake news in the country revealing scale of issue and impact on trust in media. The study aimed at quantifying the prevalence and impact of false information during an election campaign in Africa. Conducted via SMS, the survey asked a nationally representative sample of 2 000 Kenyans a series of questions about their consumption of news during May 2017, in relation to the forthcoming general election in the country.

Respondents cited conflicting data, controversial messages and biased reporting as the top factors that lead them to suspect something is false.

90% of respondents reported having seen false or inaccurate news in relation to the general election. 87% of respondents regarded this news as being deliberately misleading – or fake news, resulting in most turning to traditional media for news.

Traditional media was found to be the most trusted news sources, with television ranking highest, followed by radio and newspapers. Radio was seen to be the most consistently accessed source, with the smallest variation between different provinces across the country.

According to the report, social media which is widely used by Kenyans of all ages to access and share news consistently ranks lower than traditional media on trust, with 49% of Kenyans using social platforms to secure general election news.

Facebook and WhatsApp were found to be the most popular social media platforms for news, preferred overall by 46% and 25% respectively.

Friends and family, and community leaders were the least trusted sources of news, ranked as the least likely to provide accurate information about the general election. Most, (57%) felt able to access all the information they need about the general election.

A vast majority (78%) said they would like more factual and accurate information about the general election instead of opinion and commentary, 67% of preferring comprehensive and detailed information about politics and 33% prefer summarised or concise information.

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