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Key Developments

» Several journalists attacked in connection with coverage of corruption.

» Internet use grows rapidly as Kenya becomes a digital hub.

In the run-up to the March 2013 elections, tensions ran high among local journalists, who feared a repeat of the violent aftermath of the disputed 2007 vote in which the press was targeted and harassed in connection with news coverage. Several journalists were threatened or attacked throughout 2012 in reprisal for their reporting on official corruption. CPJ found that most of the anti-press episodes took place in Western Kenya. The installation of fiber-optic cable networks drove up the number of Internet users. With its Internet penetration having doubled since 2010, Kenya boasted the highest rate in East Africa. The country also leads East Africa in mobile phone use with 29 million clients, according to International Telecommunication Union data. Kenya continued to be the main regional refuge for journalists fleeing their home countries in fear of attack or imprisonment. Since 2007, at least 52 journalists have resettled in Kenya, but often under extreme hardship.

  • 15

    Threats, attacks
  • 67%

    Attacks in small towns
  • 2nd

    Exile destination
  • 28%

    Internet penetration

At least 15 journalists were threatened or attacked in Kenya, 10 of them in connection with their coverage of corruption-related issues, according to CPJ research.

Reporting that prompted attacks:

67%Coverage of corruption-related reporting
20%Coverage of police operations
13%Coverage of local politics


According to CPJ research, the majority of attacks and threats against the press occurred in small towns instead of cities. Nearly half the attacks took place in Western Kenya.

Breakdown of attacks by area:

47% Western Kenya
20% Nairobi
20% Eastern Kenya
13% Central Kenya


East Africa has the highest number of exiled journalists in the world, according to CPJ research. Many flee to Kenya, which ranks second worldwide among destinations for exiled journalists.

Top countries to which they flee, 2007–12:


Kenya leads the East African region in Internet penetration, according to the most recent data from the International Telecommunication Union, or ITU.

Internet penetration in the region, according to the ITU:

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Slideshow: Year in Photos

Slideshow: Year in Photos

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