Birthing Fake Journalism: Problematizing Online Fake Political Analyses during 2017 Electoral Period in Kenya
Ndonye, Michael M.
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In order to predict the future of African political environment, it is significant that we make meaning of the fake journalism that disseminates propaganda that shapes the continent political contours. Since in Africa, political trajectories determine the social and economic system, it is arguably significant to pay attention to such functional political discourses. The study objective was to examine the value of fake journalism exemplified by the fake political analyses experienced in Kenya during the 2017 electoral process. Paying attention to the 2017 general elections in Kenya, the research analyzes political propaganda from fake analysts targeting the Jubilee party (for the incumbent regime) and National super alliance (NASA); (a coalition of parties forming the country’s opposition). The study adopted the propaganda theory in understanding the functions of the phenomenon. The researchers sampled 14 propaganda videos uploaded on YouTube by fake analysts before, and after 2017 elections in Kenya. The videos were transcribed and then analysed using critical interpretative approach where the literature, theory, and propaganda video analyses experienced were compared and inferences drawn to make meaning of the past, present and future implications for media, politics, and society. The findings of the study indicate that fake analyses played a critical role in shaping the political contours in Kenya as they disseminated ethno-politics and all its forms and manifestations such as ethnic blocking, ethnic profiling, ethnic agenda setting, and hatred, just to mention a few. These findings are significant to the government and alternative media regulators. The study largely benefits the mainstream media who are supposed to be a voice to counter alternative media propaganda with objective journalism.