Analysing BBC’s special coverage of the Kenyan 2017 election


BBC’s logo.

We continue on with our coverage of the election. This is the second media outlet we are looking at after CNN which is also covering the Kenyan election. So here is what BBC is doing differently from its global news counterpart.

  1. Hourly updates of the election

BBC has been focusing on the election in a different perspective. They have deployed reporters around the country as they have done their job in making sure we have proper coverage of the election. Emmanuel Igunza is in Eldoret and he talked about the election and the long queues and the technical issues in the country. Rob Wilson is in Kericho and Anthony Irungu had an interesting post on dress codes and a person who dressed up in the country’s flag. These are some of the reporters who I had identified by morning with many more working on their reports and releasing them in the hourly updates. The updates are effective as they identify the problem and what they are trying to do. These updates have been able to surpass the information that other outlets are giving as you can get the issues as they are from the technical hitches, the places with long queues and other issues.

  1. The leaders’ speeches on the election

The BBC has captured the issues of the two main contenders and what they told Kenyans in their messages.  They covered the speech by President Uhuru Kenyatta on what he expects of the electorate.

The opposition leader was also covered in his final press statements where he wished his “worthy opponent” well and also expressed his concern over vote rigging and raised doubts on whether the process will be free and fair.

  1. Profiling of both candidates

BBC was very thorough in making sure they keep the world abreast with the people battling it out. The presidential election has had two main contenders and BBC took the time to explain to the world who these two contenders are and what they stand for.

They detailed Uhuru Kenyatta’s humble beginnings and his steady rise in his political career and what he has been able to do to what he promises to do. They also focused on how Uhuru has been using ICC cases in order to gain more support. They also featured Uhuru’s successes while in government like the high-profile visits by world leaders and hosting conferences such as Ticad and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

On Raila’s side, they have analysed his personality and how he is both equally loved and hated (that is Raila Mania and Raila Phobia). His illustrious career as a politician has also been explained, from political detentions to his rise to national politics and his running for office four times now.

The BBC has done a good job as they have tried to capture every single thing in the election from the candidates to the election process and everything that is involved. They have perfectly captured the picture of the election from an outsider’s view.


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