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Pressing Interests: The Agenda and Influence of a Colonial East Africa Newspaper Sector

By Phoebe Musandu

2018 | MdGill-Queen's University Press (external site)
Copy Available: Yes

Language: English
Pages: 360
ISBN: 9780773554580


The first extended history of colonial Kenya's press, 1899-1960s.During the first six decades of the twentieth century, when the majority of present-day Kenya was under the control of the British Empire, many secular newspapers emerged as the products of tensions between Asian and European immigrants, the British administration, and the African petite bourgeoisie. In Pressing Interests Phoebe Musandu shows that, far from expressions of public opinion or vehicles of a free market, these periodicals served as powerful tools for the colonial government and the elite to shape political and economic conditions in their favour.

Following the development of the most important newspapers established in colonial Kenya as they evolved to reflect the priorities and ambitions of their owners, investors, publishers, journalists, and editors, Pressing Interests explores the roles and contributions of the press in the country's political and economic history. Shedding light on newspapers as business ventures, Musandu focuses on the management, financial, and production aspects of media. Drawing on previously unearthed archival documents, official and unofficial correspondence, police and legal records, and the newspapers themselves, she further examines the press as a medium for inter- and intra-racial competition for power and influence, as a base for the production of knowledge, and as an instrument for social control.

In an era when we are often reminded of the power inherent in the ability to generate and disseminate information, Pressing Interests tells the story of colonial Kenya's press through a timely mix of riveting accounts and the clarifying lens of careful analysis.
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We wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for their financial support through theAid to Scholarly Journals Program.

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