Ink and Impact: Understanding the Pivotal Role of the Press

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The press has become a necessity in a democratic country such as America. This is because it enables the citizens of such countries to exercise what is perceived or seen as making them strengthen their way of governing themselves. Such actions strengthening the democracies include the five core functions of the press which include investigating, encouraging accountability, helping in generating social empathy, creating a public conversation, informing, analyzing, interpreting and explaining. These functions are discussed in detail in the paragraphs below in the context of the news stories that ever occurred in certain countries in the world.

The Role of the Media in Informing, Analyzing, Interpreting and Explaining

The media has a role of informing, analyzing, interpreting and explaining. This self-evident in one of the news stories that was highlighted in the Kenyan standard newspaper by Augustine Odour when he published the story about The Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) on Thursday, September 6th, 2018 that they were going to release the results early as compared to the previous years (Oduor,2018). This meant that the parents and the kids were informed early enough so that they can prepare the requirements needed for their children to join high schools. These could include the school fees, the books, and bags. Etc. The explanation part of why the results were released early was because of the introduction of the new marking machines that were fine-tuned to speed marking of Insha and Composition papers.

The Press as an Investigative Force

Furthermore, the press performs the role of investigation i.e. muckraking the past. This is a vital function as it helps to unveil any wrongdoings committed by persons with leadership positions. They have a responsibility towards their actions. The news story that can illustrate the investigative function of the press is the story of a second-year student by the name Sharon Otieno who died and was linked to being the girlfriend of Governor Okoth Obado of Migori County. The story is highlighted in the Kenyan standard newspaper that was published on Thursday, 6th September 2018 by the standard team. The lady is alleged to have been killed by the Governor because their love had turned sour (Standard team 2018). The reporter by the name Barrack Oduor was behind the investigations so as to establish the possible reasons that lead to the love turning sour.

The Press as a Source of Public Conversation

In addition, the press also creates a conversation between the members of the society who read the newspaper. They do so by posing questions that will make the readers think and give their views pertaining to the question at hand. This will foster development as conversations lead to constructive solutions to problems at hand. The news story to illustrate this role is that published the Kenyan standard newspaper by Hezron Mugambi on 7th September 2018 posing a question that why campus life is not easy for the youth (Mugambi 2018). This was in line with the undesirable behavior depicted by most university students. An example is the case of Sharon Otieno who was murdered as a result of having an affair with the married man.

The Press Encourages Accountability

Moreover, the media encourages accountability. This is where the offices tasked with a certain role is held responsible or rather put to question on how it failed to achieve a certain expected result or rather did the wrong thing. Such questioning from the press encourages accountability. An illustration of the news story concerning the encouragement of accountability is one published by Geoffrey Mosoku on 7th September 2018 in the Kenyan standard newspaper where the Auditor General queries the commissioner's appointment (Mosoku 2018). He said that the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) illegally created the position of commissioner of intelligence and strategic operations for James Mburu yet such department never existed in the KRA's organizational structure.

Lastly, the press helps generate social empathy. This involves the collective responsibility of all individuals in ensuring that they follow the norms that are morally upright before everyone.


From the above discussion concerning the role that the press does indicate its importance in our day to day activities. Therefore, it should never be underestimated.

Works cited

Augustine Oduor, 6th September 2018, the Kenya National Examinations Council

Bush, George W. The national security strategy of the United States of America. Wordclay, 2009.

Geoffrey Mosoku, 7th September 2018, auditor general queries the commissioner’s appointment

Inglehart, Ronald, and Christian Welzel. Modernization, cultural change, and democracy: The human development sequence. Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Landell-Mills, Pierre, and Ismail Serageldin. "Governance and the external factor." The World Bank Economic Review5.suppl_1 (1991): 303-320.

Standard team, 6th September 2018, Sharon Otienos’ death

Hezron Mugambi, 7th September 2018, why campus life is not easy to our youth

September 11, 2023



Communication News media

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