Journalists Under Fire as Regulator Cracks Down

  • The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) plans to introduce new guidelines to further police media practitioners over concerns of abuse of the coveted press card.

    In the new MCK 2019 draft accreditation guidelines, the council intends to require all journalists to register individually before being accredited.

    A journalist would have to be a Kenyan citizen and have professional training in the field to be considered for accreditation by the council.

    As of Thursday, October 3, media houses had fourteen days to present their contributions to the proposed guidelines.

    CEO David Omwoyo addressing a press conference with MCK officials. Photo: The Standard.

    The council also mentioned that a journalist would need a letter from their employer, necessary qualifications such as a degree or a diploma in the course and a portfolio of previous work done.

    Journalists would also need to abide by the code of conduct in the practice of Journalism, observe the guidelines provided for by the council and always carry the accreditation card.

    The application when confirmed, the council would provide an 'accreditation card' that will have a functioning period of 12 months after which renewal would be needed.

    Accreditation would be withdrawn in case of misconduct from the journalist or dismissal from the organization where they worked.

    “We have received enormous complaints from both the public and some major media houses on the conduct of some people we have accredited to practice journalism. As a result, we have decided to tighten the loopholes,” said MCK chief executive David Omwoyo is quoted on the Daily Nation.

    Sample Accreditation card shown by MCK. Photo: MCK.