Analysing the mythologies and the ideological nuances in photographic representation of COVID-19 containment in Kenya’s newspapers

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Abstract

When the first death from Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was reported in Kenya on 15 March 2020 the mainstream media seemed to play its role of sensitizing the public and giving coverage as the government enforced regulations to fight the pandemic. However, a critical observation indicated that the media were not doing much more than government propaganda. The focus of this study is to analyse the ideology that drives the Kenyan mainstream media. The research particularly focuses on the study of photographs that were published in Kenya’s two leading newspapers, the Daily Nation and The Standard, between 15 March and 30 April 2020, to decode the ideological meanings hidden in the photographs. This study is guided by these three research questions: how is the fight against COVID-19 photographically represented in Kenyan newspapers? What mythic meanings are embedded in these photographs? What ideological nuances can be read in these photographs? The analysis used Roland Barthes’s framework of semiotic analysis. Findings show that the photographs published in the two newspapers in the period of study support the dominant government ideology and promote gender and class inequality.

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APA

Nyanoti, J. N. (2022). Analysing the mythologies and the ideological nuances in photographic representation of COVID-19 containment in Kenya’s newspapers. Journal of African Media Studies, 14(1), 109–123. https://doi.org/10.1386/jams_00068_1

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