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BY JERRY OTIENO
The Media Council of Kenya has moved to make a reality its threat to crack the whip on impostor journalists masquerading at different functions.
In a notice published on Wednesday,September 19 by the media Council only journalists with the council’s accreditation will be allowed to cover the events.
This came as complains emerged from Nairobi Eastlands area that a group of between five to eight people were harrasing and terrorizing people claiming that they were Journalists and were even extorting money from them through filming them using video and still cameras.
Two of them were arrested recently as they solicited for money from a businessman in the area and are to appear in court anytime soon.
There has been an outcry in the country that some of the people working as Journalists in Kenya are not educated as people wake up to carry notebooks and cameras and pose as Journalists.
According to the Media Act cap 411 B and the Gazette notice No. 6498 of 2010, all journalists operating in Kenya must be accredited by the media council of Kenya.
The notice read in part, “The event organizers must demand that the journalist provide the accredited press card before they are allowed in the event.”Media Council Executive Director Dr Harun Mwangi said impersonation was a criminal offence and challenged all event organizers to demand that journalists produce accreditation badges issued by the council annually.
“We know that there are those people out there imposing as journalists. Impersonation is a criminal offence and we must deal with the issue,” said Mwangi.
The council also wants the politicians, public relations firms and other government and Non-governmental organizations to strictly admit journalists with the accreditation from the council into their events.
“We appeal to all those convening events for public consumption to admit only those who posses badges accredited by the Media council,” said Mwangi.
Already the Media council has developed a curriculum for training of the journalist in all Media colleges in Kenya that will be used at the Certificate and Diploma level.
The curriculum is still waiting approval by the Commission of Higher Education before the colleges pick it up.
“We have developed a strong curriculum for the training of the journalist that will ensure that we professionalize the trade,” added Mwangi.