The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) on Tuesday issued accreditation cards to over 70 media practitioners and students pursuing journalism and communication studies within Kisii in an effort to improve professionalism in journalism.
Speaking to KNA in Kisii town, the accreditation team led by the MCK Research and Documentation Assistant, Clarice Atieno said the exercise helps to distinguish a journalist from imposters who purport to be journalists.
Atieno noted that the Council only accredits trained journalists who are currently practicing in the field and students in their third or final year of training who are proceeding for industrial attachment.
The Research and Documentation Assistant pointed out that they are in the process of replacing the old press cards with new ones which have additional features such as a QR code and a barcode that can be scanned to provide the details of the journalist as indicated in the MCK portal.
Notably, MCK recalled the 2023 press cards that had been issued prior to January 26, 2023 for replacement with new cards at no cost, to curb the rising cases of fraudsters posing as journalists.
The Council noted that the new press cards would be linked to a media house or media association group where a journalist works to promote accountability adding that the move will specifically target freelance journalists in order to address ethical contraventions.
MCK called for collaboration among stakeholders saying they will provide the verification methods and appealed to event’s organizers to grant access to duly accredited journalists with valid press cards.
Julius Ongwae, a journalist from a local station, lauded the Council for reaching out to journalists in the region saying the exercise was smooth and he was able to receive his press card instantly.
The accreditation team from MCK is also expected to visit Migori and Nyamira counties for accreditation purposes in the course of this week.
By Martin Muli and Mercy Osongo