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The Functions of the Media Council of Kenya

The Media Council Act is an Act of Parliament that establishes the Media Council of Kenya. The Act also defines the functions of the Media Council of Kenya and gives effect to Article 34(5) of the Kenyan Constitution.

The Council is a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and should, in its corporate name, be capable of—

  • suing and being sued;
  • purchasing or otherwise acquiring, holding, charging and disposing of moveable and immovable property;
  • entering into contracts; and
  • doing or performing all other things or acts necessary for the proper performance of its functions under the Media Council Act, which may lawfully be done or performed by a body corporate.

The headquarters of the Council should be in Nairobi.

The Council may establish such offices as it considers necessary to undertake its functions.

Functions of the Media Council of Kenya

The functions of the Media Council of Kenya are to—

  • promote and protect the freedom and independence of the media;
  • prescribe standards of journalists, media practitioners and media enterprises;
  • ensure the protection of the rights and privileges of journalists in the performance of their duties;
  • promote and enhance ethical and professional standards amongst journalists and media enterprises;
  • advise the government or the relevant regulatory authority on matters relating to professional, education and the training of journalists and other media practitioners;
  • set standards for professional education and training of journalists in consultation with the relevant training institutions;
  • develop and regulate ethical and disciplinary standards for journalist, media practitioners and media enterprises;
  • accredit journalists and foreign journalists by certifying their competence, authority or credibility against official standards based on the quality and training of journalists in Kenya including maintaining a register of journalists, media enterprises and such other related registers as it may deem fit and issuance of such document evidencing accreditation with the Council as the Council should determine;
  • conduct an annual review of the performance and the general public opinion of the media, and publish the results in at least two daily newspapers of national circulation;
  • table before Parliament reports on its functions through the Cabinet Secretary (responsible for matters relating to the media);
  • establish media standards and regulate and monitor compliance with the media standards;
  • facilitate resolution of disputes between the government and the media and between the public and the media and intra media;
  • compile and maintain a register of accredited journalists, foreign journalists, media enterprises and such other related registers as it may consider necessary;
  • subject to any other written law, consider and approve applications for accreditation by educational institutions that seek to offer courses in journalism; and
  • perform such other functions as may be assigned to it under any other written law.

In exercise of its powers and discharge of its function under the Media Council Act, the Council and every person to whom the Act applies should ensure—

  • that the provisions of Article 33(2) of the Constitution are safeguarded;
  • that the freedom and independence of media is exercised in a manner that respects the rights and reputations of others;
  • that the protection of national security, public order, public health and public morals is safeguarded; and
  • the compliance with any other written law.

For more about the Media Council of Kenya, see the Media Council Act and visit their website at mediacouncil.or.ke.

Gĩthĩnji is the founder of afrocave.com. He is passionate about politics and governance, public finance management and cycling.@GithinjiKE

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