This paper looks at the discursive practices employed in the political interview in Kenya that lead to ethnic polarization. Kenya is a multi-party state where new alliances are formed towards every election period. These alliances have always been based upon tribal leanings where perceived kingpins rally people from their tribes to support a particular candidate. Six political interviews from six television stations were used in the study where a CDA was used to identify the discursive aspects of the interviews. Focused group discussions were employed to determine the effect of the use of various discursive practices on the audiences. Intertextuality was seen as the key discursive factor used to achieve the in-group and out-group matrices with backgrounding of in-group bad and fore grounding out-group bad were evident. The â€˜US vis- a-vis THEMâ€™ ideology was advanced by use of intertextuality. Conversations were also used with turn-taking were imbalanced in the sense that the journalist, who is usually the one with institutional powers, was rendered powerless in some cases and the politician emerged one with powers. This resulted in adversarial nature of interviewing. Narrative models were also used to show the deviation of Kenyaâ€™s governance and political style from the expected standards. It was seen generally that the discursive strategies employed in political interviews in Kenya leas to ethnic polarization.
Keywords: discursive practices, ethnic polarization, political news interviews.