The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) on Friday, January 27, announced plans to recall all press cards used as proof of accreditation by journalists countrywide.
In a statement released on Friday, MCK noted that the decision was aimed at containing growing cases of fraudsters masquerading as journalists with the intention of extorting unsuspecting members of the public.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, MCK Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Omwoyo confirmed that current press cards will cease to be functional to pave way for new cards with additional security features.
The new cards, as per the CEO, will feature QR codes and bar codes that will help in authenticating the identity of journalists henceforth.
“Media Council of Kenya to recall all accreditation cards in a bid to contain fraudsters posing as journalists.
"New Press Cards have additional features including a barcode and QR code that can be scanned using any smartphone," MCK announced.
However, the timelines for effecting the changes were not revealed by the media regulator but Omwoyo confirmed that the council will issue a comprehensive statement regarding the process and essence of issuing the new cards.
He noted that the number of impostors had ballooned to the hundreds and comprised of former journalists who still pose as reporters of various media stations.
He also noted that there were cases of random impostors who have no qualifications but pose as journalists with forged press cards.
“We will issue a comprehensive statement within the next 30 days detailing the process and security features to be contained in the new cards.
"The number of reported cases of fraudsters is in the hundreds largely comprising of former journalists and freelancers. There are also absolute fraudsters who pose as journalists to extort money from the public," Omwoyo stated.
The announcement came a day after MCK rang an alarm bell about cases of impostors within the practice of journalism. In a statement on Thursday, January 27, MCK CEO noted that the council would convene a meeting to deliberate on the course of action.