Published by: Givens Kachero (638161) | Winnie Booker (652857) | Hussein Jiva (628978) | Lewis Ochieng (652838)
Kenya is a hotbed of culture, attractions and innovation – a reputation the nation has earned for its various exploits, achievements and contributions. And among the key sectors that have contributed to the country’s burgeoning success stories is the tourism sector.
People now have easier access to recipes, cookbooks and tutorials to enhance their cooking skills. Digital capability has made it easy to create digital videos, digital images and digital write ups in binary formats and distribute online. The internet has exacerbated access to this information worldwide through the use of smart phones, television and other digital electronics.
An example of a famous worldwide website that enables its users to find, create and save recipes is Pinterest, it can also adapt to every user’s preferences making it easy to learn how to prepare foreign foods at the convenience of your house with a personal touch. Individuals no longer need to travel to specific countries or spend loads of money in 5-star restaurants to enjoy international cuisines.
Hyper-mediation is often used in sites such as All recipe to offer control over instructional background or offer any other relevant information to engrossed parties interested in buffing up their cooking skills. Copy Me That also uses hyper-mediation to enable its users copy any recipe from as many websites and place them in one location with just one click. The recipes collected can be saved to the computer, or can be organized with tags and added to shopping lists.
Digital media has a networked characteristic that enables coordination, communication and promotion of cooking brands or interested parties in cooking. Social media and especially Facebook has made it easy for users to create groups on cooking e.g. Recipes,cooking and food or Easy Kenyan Recipes pages where people can share videos, photos, recipes and other content. In these groups people can also work together, respond to queries and give appraisals because digital networks are bi-directional.
Interactivity as a characteristic of digital media has made it easy for humans to interact with computer programmes, contemporary sellers in the food industry are now taking advantage of this feature by offering online dealings via the internet. This means that consumers can buy goods, pay for goods and redeem coupons online and these goods are subsequently couriered to their homes and offices.
A Vietnamese woman visiting a website to buy food like many other busy women who flock online websites to shop.
Media Convergence has also made it more convenient for consumers to gain information on food preparation, this is evident by the increase of cooking shows which means the number of audiences interested in this content keeps rising. People can now watch and listen to national and international television shows such as Top Chef and Master Chef and on their smart phones, tablet, television, iPods and Radio among other digital gadgets.
The fact that content is digital means that it can easily be corrupted. In editing videos, photos and other creative content this characteristic many seem advantageous but on the other hand it poses a major challenge in the food and business industry. Experts in creating content for monetary incentives are now challenged with copyright, piracy and trademark issues that did not pre-exist in the analogue age but are now an inevitable problem.
I am not a perfect chef and in fact the internet has revealed to me of how much an armature I am. I wonder how we would exist should the digital age that has conveniently made it possible for us to access digital content on cooking worldwide would not have come to pass, this is because growing up I was bored with monotony in food preparation but now I can access ways of preparing tasty, unfamiliar and creative meals whilst giving them a personal touch.
Looking into the future there are more transformations to look forward to, below is a video of how robots could change the future of cooking.
A few years back I remember walking down Moi Avenue along a small narrow road hoping to make it to the bus stop before it rained. It was such a gloomy day. In the midst of all this rush, I spotted a little girl she couldn’t have been older than 5 years old. She had no shoes on and a dress that looked like it was the only one she owned. She silently leaned on a wall on the opposite side of the road. I stared at her from a distance because I was curious to see what she had in her hand. I was shocked to see her dusting dirt off a piece of bread that looked like she picked from the floor, so that she could eat it. Shocked and saddened by the sight of this young girl’s suffering I accepted my responsibility to giving back to my society.
Charity is a social and moral responsibility that maybe felt by some and not others. In addition this responsibility has been greatly understood over the years and gained momentum within our societies all thanks to technology and its development. Technology is changing the world of philanthropy. With the number of apps increasing, high speed Internet, it has been made easy for us to learn about causes we deeply care for and has made the process of donation or offering others support and assistance more convenient and enjoyable.
Music has been termed as a universal language that has broken barriers of communication in such a way that one doesn’t need to pursue in depth studies in order to understand music. It comes naturally. Music is not limited to words. The words in a piece of music make just part of the elements that describe music. Music has a way of evoking different emotions even if the words may not be understood. Continue reading Evolution of Music in Africa in the Digital Era
The mass media studies emerged in the early middle ages with the church (Mcquail 2008) having various means of reaching the public without exceptions. However, it was in the late sixteenth century when independent media came into place with the birth of newspaper two hundred years after print technology was invented.
The newspaper as medium of mass communications involved production of regular editions did not become an effective tool of the mass medium until the twentieth century according to mcquail, (mass communication theory 2008) when large enterprises took publishing as a business.News paper as a medium of mass media communication was followed by radio broadcasting, film and later televisions broadcasting.
The mass media communications was revolutionised by the advent of satellite communication and the entrance of computer. The entrant of the Internet has also enhanced the accessibility of news to the public especially with online news. Marshall McLuhan in the 1960s, envisaged an environment when the world turned into a global village with the advent of new technologies since technology broke down the geographical barriers. Today, with the development of smartphones and faster transmission of data through Wi-Fi and most recently, LI-FI launched in Dubai, on March 2016, the world indeed is not a ‘global village’ but in ‘our palm’. With a smart phone, and with access to LI-Fi, you can transmit data at a speed of 220 GB per second!SOu
Whereas we have looked at the process through which the mass mediums have been transformed over the century, it is also important to review how the news collection process has also evolved.
Traditionally, the news production is largely encapsulated under journalism and a journalist according to American Press Institute is person who uses particular methods to gather and assess information for publications. The process of news collection and production for print, radio and television are similar. The journalists congregate in the newsroom in the morning and ran through the docket and a reporter is sent to venue where an event is taking place. A print reporter is accompanied by a photographer, a radio reporter is accompanied by a recorder while a television reporter is accompanied, by a camera man.
Once the materials are collected, they are brought back to the newsroom for processing and by the news editors and the sub-editors before the newspaper is published or a radio story or television story is aired. The whole process of the news production was controlled at the newsrooms by the news producers and the news owners. In absence of telephone It would a whole day to produce a story since reporter has to report back to the newsroom to file a story.
The public or the mass audience were deemed to be inactive and relied on the news from the media houses as presented by journalists. It is not surprising then that the early mass media theories were based on the facet. The hypodermic needle theory, cultivation theory, agenda setting theory and framing theories are all based on this assumption.
With the advent of digital media and social media, this news gathering process has been disrupted. The audience are no longer static objects waiting to be bombarded with news from the mass media channels but they are also active players in the news production.
By definition, social media are computer related tools which allow individuals to share, create and exchange information directly without any mediations. As a public relation practitioners, I do not need to send a press release to a newsroom so that the same can be relayed to my target audience. Directly, through the website, Facebook or twitter, this information can be shared directly.
The media houses have woken up to this truth and have embraced new means of news collection.According to a Pew Research in 2014, it was found that 46% of social media users posted their own photos of news events to a social networking site, while 12% had posted videos. This practice played a role in a number of recent breaking news events, including the riots in Ferguson USA in 2015.
To respond to this new development, media house giants like British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)have restructured and adopted a new mode of news collection and dissemination.
When BBC set up a user generated content (UGC)hub in 2005 to monitor social news in the newsroom, they never anticipated the importance of news gathering from this approach and only assigned two journalist to manage the hub.According Trushar Barot, the chief news editor then, after one week of setting up the unit, the July 7th 2005 bombing of London underground train took place. Initial reports indicated that the explosion was caused by a power surge and until, the audiences who witnessed the event started sharing images, on social media, BBC realised that it was not a power surge but a terrorist bomb attack and this changed the whole story.
Bart avers, that from this incidence, they learnt that the audience knew more than BBC, the audience helped the media house tell the story faster and tell the story better. Today, UGC has a permanent presence inside the BBC newsroom and instead of two journalists, they have more that 20 media journalists covering international and domestic stories. and operates for twenty four hours.
CNN in July 2006 launched IREPORT platform to allow citizens or individuals file stories rather than wait for their news report to do the same. This has brought about citizens journalism all facilitated by the emerging digital and social media trends.
In recognition of the importance of the social media in news gathering, several tools have been developed to assist journalists gather news faster.Facebook lists and tweetdeck have been used by journalist to keep them abreast with their specific beats. Storyful, as social newswire has developed tools for monitoring numerous lists on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other networks and use key words to relate to news event.Previously,journalist popularly used newswires such as AFP, Reuters etc to monitor news story.
Malachy Browne, the news editor of Storyful, in an interview told Journalism .co.uk journal that, they have developed social media monitoring tools which also include geolocation of posts and tweets. Storyful, owns a software known as Heat map and can search for news based on the velocity of tweets or posts from different geographical location and this is enable by the fact that most smartphones have GPS features.
The media houses in Kenya have restructured to include digital media platforms and this has seen some redundancy. Both the Standard, People Daily, The star and nation media have dedicated digital media teams have developed their with news applications to have a presence in the social media scene.
Other applications like InformaCam have been developed help journalist verify information scoured from the social networks and make the process of user generated content easier. In conclusion, social media has not only, revolutionised news collections process but also call for need to develop new mass media theories to explain this new phenomenon which undermines the popular media effects theories developed in the 1920s.
Food has been my passion ever since I was a little child, and having to grow up at “Mama Halimas” house at the Kenyan coast, cooking was not an option. By the age of 10 cooking was my destiny. While having many failed experiments with cooking food she would always say “wacha Israf” which simply meant “stop wasting” learn to salvage what you can serve. I have ever since lived with the mantra of appreciating food. So what has changed?
Social media technology has seen a growth in Africa. In Kenya for the past five years there has been a tremendous increase use of new technology in the form of computers and mobile phones. Photos taken during rituals, celebrations, fun and captivating moment even just boring days, people have found a way of escape to the internet to serve their ever-growing need to socialize by uploading images. According to a CNN blog in 2016 Kenya has been listed the third in Africa in terms of internet consumers with 4.5 million users, 12 million in South Africa while 15 million users originating from Nigeria. Keeping in mind that over 80% of the users were using their mobile phones.
In 2013 there was an approximately 1.6 million daily uploads on Flickr alone on average. By 2015 the number increased to 60.7 million photos a month. Uploading photos is the most popular activity on both Facebook and twitter, while Instagram, currently the largest photo sharing media tool that grew by 23% in 2013. With the likes of Hash tags #TBT #ThrowbackThursday was born, a platform where people upload their old photos to pass a fun and exciting message to rest of the world.
The internet technology has created a platform for expressing personal views to the world over. Just as one of the 99 thesis of clue train manifesto where by the internet through the digital platforms has created a means through the global village with its high-speed nature thus “internet is enabling conversation” well explained. According to Instagram 90 new photos are uploaded every minute while in Facebook 60 photos are uploaded daily. The trend seems to be increasing over time. During the recent months Coca-Cola company had started a new trend where their sodas had branded name and had an online campaign challenge to make participants share their meals with coke #ShareaCoke where one will find their desired name tags, win by being awarded free meals and other merchandises. This brought about the increase in uploads of photos that accelerated social conversations.
This new trend of sharing meals has almost become our daily activity. This created the need to visit the newly eatery phenomenons in the country. Cultures of going to Pizza In, Java, KFC and now Subway has seen increasing attendance such that people can be able to share the experiences their friends and family. The terrific Tuesdays and the Pizza Wednesdays where food is sold at buy one get one free has enabled a good number of the people experiencing new foods and later posting them.
Food shows have been increasing in the country from Pika chakula, Royco Fuata Flavor to the AfyaBora show and chungu chetu airing on local television stations have received a welcomed viewing in the local market. Youtube on the other hand has given everyone an opportunity to be a broadcaster. People upload thousand of videos and people from all over the world would subscribe to a particular channel. Restaurants, chefs and homemade artists would upload their videos and sometimes be trending for either good or weird foods even the mediahouses would upload some of the content for bloopers. For example food channel on Youtube, worst cooks in America, Hell’s kitchen, cooks versus cons which not only entertain but also teach the viewers on new terminologies and how they are cooked.
In south Korea, however, a new trend of food appreciation is tested to the limit. The eating of meals online providing an opportunity or someone else in the world to dine with them in real time
In 2000, BBC discovered a big gap in the society thus including a programming content so as to share the rising social problems brought by food. They launched supersize versus super skinny where they were they swap foods for a week and taught to be average portions.
The United Nations is one of the organizations that have used the social media for awareness of the sustainable development goals in order to reduce wastage of food. In their research, the United Nations on the November 2010 declared that more than a third of food is wasted every year a number that has been rapidly increasing and there was a need for the global world to reduce food wastage and reduce poverty rates.
In summary, for I being a food lover am pleased to say that the local foods have indeed changed from simple traditional foods to now more convenient, appealing, high nutrition value and free delivery through the promotions by social media trends and food ambassadors. “You are what you eat” a common statement reminding everyone to eat just right, glad to be part of the online food revolution.