Two Faculty members from the School of Journalism present their research at Communication Conference in Spain

By Kioko Ireri

Two faculty members in the Department of Journalism and Corporate Communication have presented research papers at the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).

Dr. Joseph Nyanoti presented a paper titled “Patriarchal Ideology in Kenya’s Editorial Cartoons: A Cultural Studies Approach”. The research investigated how Daily Nation editorial cartoonists represented the male and female genders in their comic graphics.

Findings indicate that the examined publication’s cartoons were laden with patriarchal ideologies. This supports the work of cultural studies scholars who believe that all media texts carry ideological nuances of the dominant group in society (they support status quo).

As such, men were given positive representation compared with women. Relatedly, women were not only underrepresented but they were also represented negatively in stereotypical roles as mothers, nurturers and appendages to men. The women were also represented as too weak to take up men’s roles like leadership in national offices.

The research data was collected using a combination of content analysis and semiotic analysis. The former generated data on the representation of men and women, while the latter revealed the hidden meaning (ideologies) in the portrayal of both genders.

Nyanoti’s colleague, Robi Koki examined the nature, types and trends of online violence that professional journalist women in Kenya face in digital media spaces. Her paper was titled “An Exploration of Gender-based Violence Perpetuated in Online Print Stories against Prominent and Professional Women in Kenya”.

The explanatory study extrapolated findings of the “Media Monitoring of Online Violence of Women Journalists in Kenya” commissioned by the Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK), ARTICLE 19 and Deutsche Welle Akademie. The study gathered attitudes, behaviors, opinions or perceptions that culminated into acts of online violence meted out on top of women journalists and media personalities.

Findings indicate that the journalists faced online violence because the public has a sense of entitlement based on their expectations of the professional and public appearance of the women in media. More so, women in media are expected to modify their appearance for sex appeal than they are for journalistic work.

The research employed qualitative content analysis to assess extractions of various online print stories of 40 prominent and professional women in Kenya. The IAMCR conference was held from 7-11 July at Universidad Complutense Madrid in Madrid, Spain. The conference’s theme was “Communication, Technology and Human Dignity: Disputed Rights, Contested Truths”.

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