Practicing journalism without seeking accreditation from the Media Council of Kenya will soon be criminalised in an effort to tame rogue individuals spoiling the industry professionalism.
MCK CEO David Omwoyo has said at least 3,500 journalists in Kenya are unregistered of the 7,000 practising journalists giving room for quacks to spoil the industry’s image.
Omwoyo has said MCK is working on a Bill that would criminalise practicing journalism without the council’s accreditation. Omwoyo says a number of those unregistered go against media ethics and violate the codes of conduct in the profession.
“Many people do not have accreditation. Some are practising as journalists yet they have not been trained. They give the media a bad name,” Omwoyo said during a forum in Mombasa on the council’s project on debunking fake news.
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Without having a clear record of those certified to practice journalism, he said he council will have a hard time trying to isolate profile and deal with those who are masquerading as journalists.
The draft will attract public participation to enrich its scope before being subjected to house debate and later receive presidential assent into law.
The MCK Complaints Commission and a new disciplinary committee’s establishment is underway at the council and will be tasked with dealing with rogue journalists. Those who will be found to violate the code of conduct will be deregistered and barred from practicing