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Non-European Newspaper Culture in Kenya: Mumenyereri, the Daily Chronicle and the Colonial Times, 1945-51

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Part of the seminar series: Media and Intellectual Productions in Africa's Pasts and Presents

Non-European Newspaper Culture in Kenya: Mumenyereri, the Daily Chronicle and the Colonial Times, 1945-51

Indian and African newspapers like the Colonial Times (1932-62), the Daily Chronicle (1947-62) and Mumenyereri (1945-52) contributed significantly to the creation of a public sphere in Kenya’s late colonialism. What Karin Barber terms a ‘colonial print culture’ matured in a contested field of forces where African and Indian anti-racist and broadly nationalist and more narrowly cultural nationalist discourses competed and entered into dialogue with local European print cultures. Newspapers are unique in providing material on the ‘whole way of life’ of particular communities. News copy, editorials, commentary, debate and background analysis are usually thought of as representing the essence of ’newspaperness’. However, marginal and ephemeral material such as advertisements and announcements (of eg. festivals, political meetings, film shows, arrivals and departures) – constant ingredients in the newspaper format – provides additional insights into the circulation of ideas and possible sources of social identities. This paper will examine particularly the ‘marginal’ features of a sample of papers in their interplay with the journalistic features in order to characterize non-European newspapers in Kenya and their role in convening audiences and addressing individuals.

This talk is part of the Centre of African Studies Lent Seminar Series series.

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