The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has introduced new regulations for the accreditation of journalists and media enterprises in the country.

A notable change is that media enterprises will be required to have valid MCK accreditation before their broadcast licences are renewed by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) starting July 1, 2020.

Another change will be the smart press card for journalists, which will capture the holder’s biometric data.

This move aims at enhancing the cards’ security and verification of the holders.

MCK chief executive officer David Omwoyo said in a statement that the changes are in line with the MCK’s commitment to overhaul the accreditation process to ensure only bona fide journalists practice.

The smart cards will be valid for a year, but will be considered from January 1 to December 31, a departure from the current practice where the year could begin at any month.
They will also invalidate all previous cards.

“Accreditation will now be valid for one calendar year (January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020) unless stated otherwise for foreign journalists – and invalidates all previous cards issued by the Media Council of Kenya.

“Accordingly, all journalists, media practitioners and trainers are hereby advised to submit their applications for accreditation to avoid any inconveniences in the course of their work,” he added.

Accreditation fees for local journalists, freelancers, media practitioners and trainers remains at Sh2, 000. Foreign journalists, in the short term, will part with Sh5, 000 while in the long term it will be Sh10, 000. For students the fee is Sh300.

The agency has been grappling with the issue of “quacks” in the media industry and in November 2018, MCK launched a major crackdown to rein on quacks who have deeply infiltrated the sector and often accused of being involved in a myriad of misdemeanours including misrepresentation of facts, taking money by false pretence and asking for handouts from news sources, among other unprofessional practices.

At the time, the operation targeted six counties including Homa Bay, Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Turkana and Garissa Counties.

Source: Daily Nation

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