The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) announced that journalists and media practitioners seeking to replace their 2023 press cards would not be charged.
In a statement dated Friday, January 27, the council called upon all local and foreign journalists and media practitioners who were already issued with the 2023 press card to replace their cards at no cost beginning Monday, February 6.
"You are required to surrender the old card at the Media Council of Kenya offices at Britam Centre in Upper Hill, Nairobi, or any of our regional offices in Nakuru, Mombasa, Meru, and Kisumu for replacement with the new cards," read part of the statement.
In addition, the council noted that all passes issued during the pandemic were invalid and should be surrendered.
"All accredited journalists are advised to carry their press cards whenever on duty and to produce them whenever required," MCK advised.
Journalists seeking to renew or apply for press cards can also do so through the portal to avoid inconvenience.
The announcement came hours after the council recalled all press cards for journalists countrywide.
MCK noted that the move was to tame the increasing number of fraudsters posing as journalists to extort unsuspecting members of the public.
According to MCK, the new cards will include QR and bar codes to help authenticate the identity of journalists and media practitioners.
These new features can be scanned using any smartphone, making verifying the journalist's identity easier.
MCK Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Omwoyo disclosed that the number of recorded fraudster incidences involved former journalists and freelancers.