Kenya profile

Newspaper stand in Kenya

Kenya has a diverse media scene, supported by a sizable middle class that sustains a substantial advertising market.

A handful of major players dominates the industry. One of them, Nation Media Group, has extended its operations to neighbouring countries.

The state-run Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) is funded from advertising revenue and a government-provided budget.

Television is the main news source in cities and towns. The spread of viewing in rural areas has been slower, hampered by limited access to mains electricity. A switchover to digital TV is under way.

The main satellite pay-TV platforms are South Africa's MultiChoice and its Kenyan rival Wananchi Group, which operates Zuku TV.

Entertainment, music and phone-ins dominate the vibrant radio scene, which includes Islamic stations and those broadcasting in local languages. Radio remains the main medium in rural areas, where most Kenyans live.

Full-time FM relays of the BBC World Service are on the air in Nairobi (93.9), Mombasa (93.9) and Kisumu (88.1).

The highly-competitive press sector is the most sophisticated in the region. The print media are dominated by two publishing houses, the Nation and Standard.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked Kenya at 90th (out of 180 countries) in its 2014 global Press Freedom Index. A controversial new system of media regulation introduced in 2013 has drawn protests from media organisations and human rights groups.

Internet use is high by regional standards, and submarine cables have boosted Kenya's global connectivity. The widespread use of mobiles enables millions to access the web. The platform is particularly important in rural areas. There were 21 million internet users by December 2013 (via Internetworldstats.com).

Many Kenyans have embraced social media. Facebook is said to be edging out email as a preferred mode of communication.

Press

  • Daily Nation - market-leading daily published by the Nation Media Group
  • The Standard - privately-owned daily, Kenya's oldest newspaper
  • The Star - privately-owned daily
  • East African - weekly, published by the Nation Media Group
  • Taifa Leo - Swahili daily published by the Nation Media Group (subscription website)

Television

Radio

News agency

More Africa stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • MouseEscape the rat race

    Burnt out? Meet the workers who took more than a vacation - and changed their lives

Programmes

  • (File photo) A man dressed as Father Christmas with a sleigh and a reindeer Click Watch

    A website which tracks Father Christmas, plus other sites and apps to keep you entertained

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.