Job Allan Wefwafwa is a PhD candidate at University of The Witwatersrand, South Africa; with a topic titled “Kenyan TV News as Africanised Public Sphere: The Representation of “Voice” Participation in African Democracy”. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Makerere University Kampala Uganda and a Master of Arts Degree in communication studies from the University of Nairobi. Wefwafwa is a Tutorial Fellow at the Department of Journalism & Media Studies, Technical University of Kenya. He has a bias towards broadcast journalism which he has practiced and taught for over seven years. His interest is in indigenous African politics and culture. A majority of his peer-reviewed publications in communication are about harnessing neglected indigenous knowledge into solving people’s problems. He also enjoys writing about contemporary Kenyan politics. His hobbies include reading about Greek Mythology, travelling, and going on nature walks. If Wefwafwa was not a university lecturer, he would be a philanthropist. His dream achievement is to set up a foundation to run an orphanage as a way of giving back to society.
Kenyan TV news represents "voice" participation in African democracy as unnecessary political "radicalism", not worth the airtime. This deliberate TV news representation is due to Kenyan elites' perception that "voice" participation in African democracy entails "radical" oppositional interpretation of Kenyan political dialogues from cultural perspectives, seeking redress to long standing historical social injustices in the country; which unsettles elitist status quo. Through participant observation and critical analysis of people's daily narratives as represented on TV about subordinated social groups, the study will analyse the extent to which the TV news representation of "voice" participation in African democracy affect social groups' access to public space for deliberation. Aware that Subordinated social groups invent "counter-discourses", as a means of resisting dominance (see Fraser 1994, p.131), a majority of Kenyan TV news stations adopt "cautious" approach to political news reporting, "shying" away from in-depth and realistic democratic deliberations with the social groups. To test the method's validity, the researcher will conduct a pilot ethnographic fieldwork, to better understand different forms of personal narratives among the social groups; through participant observation of the relevant social gatherings. He will then monitor the TV news representation of the narrations during news hours.