Despite Changing Times, KBC Continues To Shape Kenya’s History.
The media landscape in Kenya is changing at an unprecedented pace, just like in other parts of the world. The industry has significantly evolved in many positive ways, but with it is a chock-full of concerns.
With the growth of the media market, dissemination of unverified and undigested information, superficial coverage of events, bias, and poor quality have characterized the industry. But not Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) has dominated Kenya’s electronic media scene for more than nine decades but has never stepped off the track of objectivity. The public broadcaster has never lost sight of its mission, maintained relevance while seeking to do even better like is the case as it rebranded Monday.
KBC has recorded virtually every defining moment in Kenya’s history. From the country gaining independence to Jomo Kenyatta becoming President. From the first President’s death to his succession by Daniel Arap Moi.
From the fight for multipartyism to the first major terror attack on Kenya soil. From the independence party KANU’s downfall and Kibaki’s landslide victory to Changing the Constitution. And from Operation Linda Nchi to Uhuru Kenyatta’s ascendancy to Presidency, just to mention a few, KBC has always been there.
Formerly known as the Voice of Kenya, KBC is Kenya’s only Public Service Broadcaster. The station was founded in 1927 and runs nationwide television and radio services.
Throughout this period, KBC has progressed from being the oldest to the most experienced broadcaster in the country. From a station established by white settlers to monitor news from home to a station used to provide information about what was happening at the battlefront during World War, KBC has gone through many changes to become the media giant that it is today.
At Independence, the country identified poverty, ignorance, and disease as the three most important challenges to tackle if Kenya was to take a path to development. KBC’s contribution towards this significant national agenda cannot be overemphasized.
Indeed, to promote the nation’s socio-economic architecture, KBC as a public broadcasting service has served the diverse interests of all the people irrespective of religion, political belief, culture, race, and sex.
Throughout the years, the station’s programming has been comprehensive enough to reflect and promote national culture and identity. And that’s not all, KBC has always enabled every citizen to communicate openly on its various platforms while empowering the audiences through interactive programming.
With infrastructure strewn all over the country, the national broadcaster has had an advantage over other players in the industry, by having the signal covering all landmass in the republic, making it a public good.
This good is enjoyed by all and sundry, amid expansion to have numerous television and radio stations, with a sole mandate of educating, informing, and entertaining while still remaining sensitive to the needs and tastes of every citizen.
Apart from operating two Television stations, KBC Channel 1 and Y-254, the broadcaster runs two radio stations namely; the English Service and KBC Radio Taifa. And it boasts of a broadcast range that is quite extensive.
Today, the Corporation runs vernacular stations that are doing well in the media market including Pwani FM, Coro FM (Kikuyu), Mayienga FM (Luo), Minto FM (Kisii), Mwago FM (Meru), Mwatu FM (Kamba), Nosim FM (Maasai), Kitwek FM (Kalenjin), Ingo FM (Luhya) and Iftiin FM (Somali).
Others are Sub-Services: Central Service (Kiembu), Eastern Service (Burji, Rendille, Turkana and Borana) and Western Service (Suba, Pokot, Teso and Kuria).
Besides Radio and Television services, KBC has established a vibrant digital department, as one of the responses to changing times. The new unit is responsible for disseminating an appropriate mix of content on the internet, social media, and mobile platforms that are up to date to satisfy various needs.
It is an open secret that as a national broadcaster, KBC has been developing and packaging content that is appropriate for a national audience. These programmes include; news, current affairs, opinions, drama, documentaries or talk shows,
Further along, the country has witnessed a proliferation of private radio stations broadcasting in almost all languages spoken in Kenya. Amid this mushrooming of broadcast stations, KBC has maintained relevance to the public with content decent to date.
Through its daily broadcasts and programs, KBC has kept off vulgar language, explicit material, gossip, or innuendo just like a number of players in the sector have done. Across all its brands, KBC serves the public with good family-focused content.
This is why despite the entry of alternative channels and service providers; viewers, listeners, and content consumers have never migrated from KBC.
Nevertheless, KBC has managed to curve an unparalleled niche in the broadcast sub-sector market with captivating, entertaining, and educating programmes that continue to define the station. To date, KBC offers the best sporting content, and current affairs programming, including uninterrupted Parliamentary proceedings.
Regardless of whether the news is good or bad, KBC has from the beginning delivered accurate, unbiased, and truthful information to the public, to whom it owes commitment.
As it opens yet another chapter in the eagerly-anticipated relaunch, one thing will not change; KBC will continue to tell Kenya’s story, in an accurate and balanced way. The station will continue to generate and promote content through which audiences will gain greater understanding and respect for our people, our country, and our way of life.