A clash between journalistic and capitalist values? How advertisers meddle in journalists’ decisions at the Nation Media Group in Kenya | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2040-199X
  • E-ISSN: 1751-7974



This article seeks to examine how advertisers meddle in journalists’ ethical decisions at the Nation Media Group (NMG) in Kenya. Grounded in the critical political economy of the media tradition, it is argued in the article that, in the highly commercialized media environment in Kenya today, market forces pose the greatest threat to media freedom and responsibility. Through in-depth qualitative interviews of twenty journalists from the NMG, the article shows how the expectation of private media to be purveyors of public interest while trying to maximize profits for shareholders leads to a clash of journalistic and capitalist values. The article answers the following questions: how do advertisers meddle in journalists’ ethical decisions at the Nation Media? How do journalists respond to advertisers’ influence? How does their response compromise their professional ethics? The findings show that there is a clash of journalistic values and capitalist values as journalists strive to meet shareholders’ expectations and maximize profits for owners.


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