Ethnic Influence of Colleagues and Friends on Choices of News Media Channels: The Case of Catholic Church Leaders in Nairobi, Kenya

Don Bosco Onyalla

Abstract


People are continually moving across societies and forming communities consisting of members from different cultures, races, nationalities, religions, languages, among other distinguishing identities. Many communities across the globe are characterized by ethnic diversity, the resultant challenge of interpersonal conflicts and other group dynamics felt in virtually all sectors of society, including religious institutions. Founded on uses and gratifications and social identity theories, this study examined the extent to which the ethnicity of colleagues and friends may influence religious leaders’ choice of and exposure to news media channels. The contemporary challenge of ethnic hate, bias, and prejudice in Africa and particularly Kenya informed the study’s central problem. The study sampled Catholic Church leaders in Nairobi, Kenya and employed 16 elite interviews and three focus group discussions. Collected data revealed that colleagues and friends have a mutual influence over choosing news channels. However, the ethnicity of these colleagues and friends did not seem to be the principal factor. The knowledge of how Church leaders can be influenced by the ethnicity of their colleagues and friends raised awareness of integrity and credibility as vital components of not only religious leadership but also family life in the religious communities of clergymen and nuns in Nairobi, Kenya. The study extended the ordinary meaning of family as consisting of a group of genetically related people formed through biological reproduction to include adults who accept to live together as family because of their religious choices.

Keywords


Church leaders; colleagues and friends; ethnic influence; news media; social identity theory; uses and gratifications theory

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References


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