Kenyan conflict, post-colonial media? A discourse analysis of how western media portrayed the violent aftermath of the Kenyan election in 2007 through a post-colonial perspective

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: Kenya had a disputed presidential election in late 2007 which erupted into ethnic clashes between supporters of the two candidates. Western media was quick to report back that the sudden violence was due to tribal differences. The goal of my essay was such to explore whether or not a post-colonial discourse could be found in western media. By choosing three international magazines with more analytical news-reporting(Time Magazine, Africa Confidential and The Economist) I could look upon articles through a post-colonial perspective and used tools available through critical discourse theory along with the concept of discrimination. The result was an overall picture that was not influenced by post-colonialism and to very little extent discriminatory in nature. However, in the material used I found four different fields where a post-colonial discourse could be located. These were; when using the word tribe, when Africa became an adventure, when Africa was seen as the bottom and when Africa was portrayed as one. What emerged was how media still upheld colonial views through the use of what language they used in the magazines. They sustained the image of “the Others” and created dichotomies where Africans were wild and savage.

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