Media Council introduces smart press cards as tougher accreditation rules kick in
The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has introduced a set of new regulations to guide the accreditation of journalists and media enterprises operating in the country.
Notable among the changes will see media enterprises operating in the country required to have a valid MCK accreditation before their broadcast licenses are renewed by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) starting July 1, 2020.
“All media enterprises operating in Kenya are advised that valid MCK accreditation will now be prerequisite for the renewal of their broadcast licenses by CAK effective from July 1, 2020. They are hereby also advised to ensure that their accreditation with the MCK is up-to-date,” said MCK Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo, in a statement.
The other change will be the roll out of a new Smart Press Card for a journalists, which will for the first time see biometric data of the holders captured.
The collection of biometric data is aimed at enhancing the security of the cards and verification of the holders.
Mr Omwoyo pointed out the changes are in line with MCK’s commitment to overhaul the accreditation process, and ensure only bona fide journalists practise and are bound by the Code of Conduct for the practice of journalism in Kenya.
The validity of the new smart press cards will still run for a calendar year, a departure from the current practice where the year could begin from any month.
“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.