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TV and radio stations to be rewarded for playing by the rules

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Communication Authority (CA) has launched the second awards competition, KUZA 2018, which seeks to recognise and celebrate the milestones achieved by television and radio broadcasters. The awards are aimed at encouraging the broadcasters to embrace the standards set in the code assessments, including airing of local content.

The KUZA Awards  further seeks to identify and reward broadcasters who have demonstrated excellence in their services, as well as in compliance with the Programming Code for Free-to-Air radio and television broadcasting services. This year’s awards will, however, have an added category of people’s choice, where listeners and consumers will be able to vote for their favorite broadcasting programmes and stations. Initially, the award had only two categories, namely, regulatory compliance category and collaborative category that were based on a broadcasters’ compliance with the Programming Code and License Condition.

CA Multimedia Director Leo Boruett said this year the cycle of awards shall be adjudicated by an independent jury, which will oversee the feedback from the consumers. In addition, Boruett, who represented CA Director General Francis Wangusi, said broadcasting stations will also benefit from the data collected and feedback obtained from the consumer, through on line voting. “I want to urge broadcaster to urge their listeners to vote for their stations, through an SMS platform, 15601, that is free”, he added.

Consumers will have to send a short message services (SMS), KUZA to 15601, and then answer the questions that follows.  Boruett said this will also serve as a motivation to the broadcasters, given the critical role that media play in the society, and they will be able to tell through the votes how Kenyans view their programmes.

“Broadcasters  will  also be motivated to devote their energies and resources to offer quality services to the consumer, considering the strong influence broadcasting exerts to society on language, culture, morals, values, and our worldview”, he added.

Broadcasters were challenged to invest more in quality programmes to meet the needs of the consumers, as well as the regulatory requirements.

‘‘It is my sincere hope that the KUZA Awards initiative will go a long way to motivate the industry to put their best foot forward, towards enhancing compliance with the regulatory requirements, and in providing quality content that positively impacts the community,’’ said Wangusi in his statement.

Joel Karanja, Chairman, Digital Broadcasters Association, called upon the jury to be swift, during the judging and also ensure that broadcasters get feedback on their programmes.

During the meeting, some broadcasters, especially from vernacular stations, raised concern saying the digital platform SMS should have considered using other languages, apart from English, when voting, since they feel they will be left out as some of their audience use mother tongue.

The winners in the Regulatory Compliance and Collaborative categories will be picked, based on their compliance with the Programming Code and Licence Conditions, while the Peoples’ Choice Category will be based on consumer feedback on the social economic impact of broadcasting services on the community. Winners shall be feted at an Awards Gala on May 23.

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