Development Discourse in Kenyan Vernacular Radio: A Case Study of Kass FM

Hillary K. Sang


Language is a major tool for governance and dissemination of information. Citizens need to participate effectively in discourse pertaining to their private and public interests and enterprises in order to understand matters of development and governance. The proliferation of vernacular radio stations in Kenya, which continues despite the absence of state moderating and promotion structures, could be an ideal platform for educating citizens. The aim of this paper is to find out the role that vernacular language as used by Kass FM radio station plays in development. The method that was used for data collection is purposive sampling. The results indicate that, vernacular radio plays a major role in creating awareness among citizens at the grassroots levels through topics revolving around education, agriculture, politics & governance and healthcare. This is done in among other ways through the borrowing and adaptation of technical words from English and Kiswahili. These stations need to be accorded direct government support in terms of diversification of programming and mainstreaming of vernacular language to achieve the Kenyan government developmental benchmarks enumerated in the vision 2030.

Keywords: language, development, governance, modernization, vernacular radio stations.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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