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MCK warns newsmakers against giving handouts

Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has called on all newsmakers to desist from dishing out money to journalists for coverage of their events.

Speaking after meeting various stakeholders in the media industry in Nairobi on Thursday, MCK Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo, reiterated that journalists should not be paid by newsmakers to do their work.

Mr Omwoyo made the remarks while also making reference to the increase of quack journalist, who are notorious for demanding payments from news sources.

Also read: Media Council recalls all press cards in move to weed out quacks

Last month, MCK recalled all the accreditation cards issued to journalists in an effort to weed fake journalists.

“We want to strongly warn event organizers and newsmakers to stop giving handouts to journalists. This is why there are so many expectations from quakes after covering the event. They believe that they will either be paid or take breakfast or lunch,” said Mr Omwoyo.

His sentiments were echoed by Rebecca Mutiso, MCK Accreditation and Compliance Manager.

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“We want to remind the public relations personnel to stop giving handouts. This is one of the ways we will be able to reduce such cases,” Ms Mutiso said, adding that a good story always sells itself.

“You don’t need to pay something for your story to be published. If your content is good enough, it will be published without you paying,” she said.

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The MCK however underscored its commitment to ensure all accredited journalists are protected.

The CEO said his work is not walking around arresting the quacks.

“Our work as MCK is to ensure that all journalists are accredited. It’s the work of the police to deal with people who present themselves as trained journalists yet they are not,” said Mr Omwoyo.

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