MCK Cautions of Fake Journalists Extorting Kenyans

Media Council of Kenya CEO David Omwoyo
Media Council Of Kenya CEO, David Omwoyo addressing a gathering at the International Day to End Impunity For Crimes Against Journalists in Nairobi.
Photo/Media Council of Kenya

The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) on Thursday, January 26, raised an alarm about a worrying trend where fraudsters masquerading as journalists are targeting events. 

In a statement, the media regulator noted that the fraudsters pose as journalists to gain access to events with the purpose of extorting money from unsuspecting civilians and organizers. 

In addition, the MCK stated that some of the imposters were involved in cases of harassment of members of the public. 

Journalists docked at a media center while covering an event.
Journalists docked at a media centre while covering an event.

Consequently, the council organized a meeting with relevant stakeholders to deliberate on possible measures to curb the cases. 

“It has come to our attention that there is an escalation of fraudsters masquerading as journalists and media practitioners who get access to events with the intention of extorting and harassing people.

The MCK has organized a meeting with industry stakeholders this Friday, January 23, to provide a platform to deliberate on the matter and agree on practical measures to enhance professionalism and to deal with the rising cases of fraudsters posing as journalists," the MCK stated.

MCK through its national Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo affirmed the council's resolve to enhance professionalism in the profession of journalism by weeding out imposters and other elements that would pose a threat to its credibility.

Besides formulating policies and regulations that govern the practice of journalism, the MCK is mandated to accredit journalists who have satisfied the requirements set. 

Journalists are issued press cards which serve as an identification method for members of the profession in national functions or any other location of assignment. 

"MCK will remain at the forefront in protecting the credibility of the media and journalists by ensuring that only accredited journalists are allowed to practice in the country, in line with our Constitutional provisions," Omwoyo added. 

Cases of impersonation of journalists are not new phenomena in the country. In 2020, three individuals were nabbed and arraigned in court after presenting themselves as Citizen Tv's journalists to solicit an interview in Nakuru. 

MCK CEO David Omwoyo during a meeting with the State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications on January 12, 2023.
MCK CEO David Omwoyo during a meeting with the State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications on January 12, 2023.
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