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

Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has announced a recall of all the accreditation cards issued to journalists to weed out fake journalists who have been masquerading in the profession.

This was announced on Friday morning by the council’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr David Omwoyo.

“New Press Cards to have additional features including a barcode and QR code that can be scanned using any smartphone,” Mr Omwoyo said.

The step has been taken following an ongoing engagement meeting between the council and stakeholders to address the challenge of fraudsters that have been soaring in the media industry.

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On Thursday, Mr Omwoyo said that the meeting with stakeholders is expected to provide a platform to deliberate on emerging issues and to agree on practical measures to enhance professionalism.

“It has come to our attention that there is an escalation of fraudsters masquerading as journalists and media practitioners who get access to events with the intention of extorting and harassing people.”

Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Communications and Digital Economy Eliud Owalo had earlier said that the administration of President William Ruto would protect and improve the lives of journalists by allowing them to deliver their duties without gagging.

“Media freedom comes with responsibility to the general public and the nation and therefore editors as media gatekeepers have a duty to protect the people from sensational, false and salacious footage and other unethical coverage in the press,” said Owalo.

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The CS has formed a team that will be in charge of selecting the new MCK Board, comprising a chairperson and eight members.

The 13-member panel includes representatives from media associations, the private sector, the government, and academia.

While unveiling the panel, the CS urged them to carry out their duties without partiality.

“I urge this panel to embrace objectivity and select a board that will work for the good of the industry. We wish to see a harmonious relationship between the players in the media industry which will create a favourable working relationship that serves the interest of the media.”

MCK Board which will oversee the strategic direction of the council over the next three years.

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