Kenya //

The media

The press in Kenya is lively and provides reasonable coverage of international news, while the BBC, CNN and European sports stations are available on satellite TV.

Radio and TV

The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation has three main radio services, broadcasting in English, Swahili and local languages, as well as a 24-hour Nairobi reggae station Metro FM (101.9FM), competing with the independent Capital FM (98.4Mhz; wcapitalfm.co.ke). Better for music is another independent station, Kiss 100 (100.3FM). The Nation newspaper runs a news station, Nation FM (96.4FM). The BBC World Service can be picked up on FM in Nairobi (93.7MHz) and Mombasa (93.9MHz). Most radio stations are available on the internet – good for pre-departure immersion.

Kenyan television, much of it imported, carries a mix of English and Swahili programmes. There are three main channels: the stuffy and hesitant state-run KBC, which carries BBC World for much of the day; the upbeat, mainly urban KTN owned by the Standard newspaper group, which carries CNN during the night and much of the morning; and the Nation newspaper’s channel, NTV. An increasing number of homes, bars and hotels have satellite dishes, usually on the South African DSTV service (wdstv.com), giving access to Britain’s Sky TV, Eurosport and other foreign channels.

The press

Kenya is a nation absorbed in its press, though the papers, as everywhere, struggle to hold their own against online media. The leading mainstream newspaper is the Daily Nation (wnationmedia.com), part-owned by the Aga Khan, which has reasonable news coverage, including international news and European football results, and a letters page full of insights into Kenyan life. Its main competitor is The Standard (weastandard.net). Both papers are available on digital subscription. Unfortunately, sharp analysis is in short supply and many editorials and opinion pieces lack bite. For a more critical take on the news, turn to The Star (wthe-star.co.ke), which is much more outspoken but tends to be gossipy.

Of the foreign press, weekly editions of the UK’s Daily Telegraph and other papers reach areas with substantial white populations, and you can find a fair number of foreign papers in busy areas on the coast in high season. Time and Newsweek are hawked widely and, together with old National Geographics and copies of The Economist, filter through many hands before reaching the secondhand booksellers.

Online, apart from newsfeeds from the Nation and the Standard, BBC Focus on Africa (wbbc.in/FocusonAfrica) has monthly news and features from the BBC World Service; the fortnightly Africa Confidential (wafrica-confidential.com) provides solid inside info on politics and business; and the hugely popular Kumekucha (wkumekucha.blogspot.com) has a scurrilous and entertaining mix of inside scoops and rants.

Cultural and arts resources include the sprawling wartmatters.info, lively blog wkenyanpoet.com, which has events flagged up in good time, and wkwani.org, Kenya’s pre-eminent literary website.