The Media Council of Kenya (MCK), has asked journalists to secure accreditation with the Council to facilitate smooth coverage of the forthcoming General Elections.
MCK Western Region Coordinator, Evans Teddy, said only accredited journalists will be cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to cover the elections.
“Any journalist covering elections or any other story must be accredited. There is no choice about it,” he stated.
This, he said, was one of the measures put in place by the Council to counter fake news and misinformation, by ensuring that only qualified and accredited journalists are allowed to operate.
The Council, he disclosed, has introduced a journalist’s verification number, 40314, to help security officials confirm the authenticity of press cards.
The remarks were made during a round table meeting between security officials and media managers in Kisumu County on the security of journalists during elections.
“Following an increase in the number of complaints from the police and other government officials over rising cases of misinformation and propaganda by people claiming to be journalists, verification of press cards is paramount to ensure that sources only give information to accredited journalists,” he said.
He encouraged the security officials to take advantage of the verification number by confirming details of journalists to tame quacks who are giving the profession a bad name.
“There have been a lot of cases where people have impersonated journalists and requested information from officials which has been used to spread propaganda and caused a strain between officers and journalists,” he added.
Teddy noted that a number of journalists in the region were going to cover elections for the first time, adding that MCK will enhance their competence through training.
By Evangeline Mola