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Newspaper Visibility of Members of Parliament in Kenya
Unformatted Document Text:  NEWSPAPER VISIBILITY OF MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT IN KENYA 10 simple random sampling. Daily Nation and The Standard each had 42 issues. The People Daily and Nairobi Star each had 36 issues because they don’t publish on Sundays. The 156 issues yielded 1,465 articles which were content analyzed – with Standard contributing 468 (32%), Star 372 (25%), Nation 345 (24%), and People 280 (19%). The unit of analysis was a news article, which excludes letters to the editor, advertisements, opinion or commentaries, editorials, and features. To identify the 10-most powerful ministries in the Government of Kenya, 88 Kenyan journalists were asked to rank 40 ministries, with the most powerful ranking 1st and the least powerful 40th. Of the 88 journalists, 58% participated in the ranking exercise. The journalists identified Finance as the most powerful ministry followed by Provincial Administration and Internal Security, Foreign Affairs and Agriculture. Others in that order are the ministries of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Defense, Local Government, Education, Roads, and Energy. See Appendix 3 for the complete list of the ministers in charge of the ten powerful ministries, and the constituencies they represent in the National Assembly. Two coders familiar with Kenyan politics were trained in coding procedures and definitions of a news article, visibility, and the ten independent variables whose prediction of the MPs’ visibility was examined. The coders took a pilot coding exercise for two variables: commenting on contentious issues and criticizing the government. This was meant to ensure high inter-coder consistency. They coded 32 editions (8 for each newspaper). This represents 20% of the 156 editions. Wimmer and Dominick (2006) point out that data obtained from a pilot study is useful because “poorly defined categories can be detected, and chronically dissenting coders can be identified” (p. 166). The pilot exercise yielded a mean Kappa’s inter- code reliability coefficient of .91. The coefficients for criticizing the government and commenting on contentious issues were .82 and 1.0 respectively. Three MPs were excluded from this study because of the obvious coverage they receive daily owing to their powerful positions in the government. They are President Mwai Kibaki (Othaya), Prime Minister Raila Odinga (Lang’ata), and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (Mwingi North). The three also represent the executive branch of government, while the rest of MPs represent the legislative arm. After the final coding, seven more MPs were eliminated from further analysis because

Authors: Ireri, Kioko.
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simple random sampling. Daily Nation and The Standard each had 42 issues. The People Daily 
and Nairobi Star each had 36 issues because they don’t publish on Sundays. The 156 issues 
yielded 1,465 articles which were content analyzed – with  Standard  contributing 468 (32%), 
Star  372 (25%),  Nation  345 (24%), and  People  280 (19%). The unit of analysis was a news 
article,   which   excludes   letters   to   the   editor,   advertisements,   opinion   or   commentaries, 
editorials,  and  features.  To  identify  the 10-most powerful  ministries  in  the Government  of 
Kenya, 88 Kenyan journalists were asked to rank 40 ministries, with the most powerful ranking 
1st and the least powerful 40th. Of the 88 journalists, 58% participated in the ranking exercise. 
The   journalists   identified   Finance   as   the   most   powerful   ministry   followed   by   Provincial 
Administration and Internal Security, Foreign Affairs and Agriculture. Others in that order are 
the   ministries   of   Justice   and   Constitutional   Affairs,   Defense,   Local   Government,   Education, 
Roads, and Energy. See Appendix 3 for the complete list of the ministers in charge of the ten 
powerful ministries, and the constituencies they represent in the National Assembly.
Two   coders   familiar   with   Kenyan   politics   were   trained   in   coding   procedures   and 
definitions of a news article, visibility, and the ten independent variables whose prediction of 
the MPs’ visibility was examined. The coders took a pilot coding exercise for two variables: 
commenting on contentious issues and criticizing the government. This was meant to ensure 
high inter-coder consistency. They coded 32 editions (8 for each newspaper). This represents 
20% of the 156 editions. Wimmer and Dominick (2006) point out that data obtained from a 
pilot   study   is   useful   because   “poorly   defined   categories   can   be   detected,   and   chronically 
dissenting coders can be identified” (p. 166). The pilot exercise yielded a mean Kappa’s inter-
code   reliability   coefficient   of   .91.   The   coefficients   for   criticizing   the   government   and 
commenting on contentious issues were .82 and 1.0 respectively. Three MPs were excluded 
from this study because of the obvious coverage they receive daily owing to their powerful 
positions in the government. They are President Mwai Kibaki (Othaya), Prime Minister Raila 
Odinga   (Lang’ata),   and   Vice   President   Kalonzo   Musyoka   (Mwingi   North).   The   three   also 
represent the executive branch of government, while the rest of MPs represent the legislative 
arm. After the final coding, seven more MPs were eliminated from further analysis because 

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