Kenyans produce incredible movies which are supposed to go viral like the famous Hollywood and Bollywood TV shows. Ironically, we don’t own our locally made brands and told stories, we always jump to criticizing most shows. A good example is the infamous Nairobi Diaries. How different is it from Keeping it with the Kardashians? Maybe people don’t like the fact that somebody boldly came out with an idea and secured airtime. On the other end, Communications Authority of Kenya came out with a bold move to make Kenya ‘clean’.
The cleanliness movement should have started years back when KBC was channel one Kenya’s watching. Digital migration and social media changed the game – nudity/erotic pictures either motion or still rule the world and every teenager is a screw up in one way or another unless otherwise. Kenyan sexy comedy House of Lungula and other movies like VEVE placed the film industry on the map which is great. In 2013, House of Lungula received the best movie awards in Kalasha Awards. The recognition should be reflected in other international awards like the Oscars and globe awards. Besides film, we now have an official sheng station – Ghetto radio which is uniquely Kenyan. Tentatively, Kiss Fm and its close relatives try to emulate the majuu stations. Most of the presenters don’t even know Kiswahili and the topics are insane. People love them including members of the authority because no one wants to be left behind.
However, the Communications Authority of Kenya wants Maina Kageni and Shaffie Weru to have zero relevance on radio because CAK hold the big guns. Kenya Information and Communications Act of 1998 (as amended) and the Kenya Information and Communications (Broadcasting) Regulations of 2009 gives the authority power to regulate the media
Mr. Wangusi at the Communications Authority of Kenya said,” the published Programme Code for Free to Air Radio and Television Broadcasting outlines the programming content standards that the local Free to Air radio and TV broadcasters have to observe as they go about their business of providing information, education and entertainment services. Section 46H (d) of the Kenya Information and Communications Act mandates the Authority to not only develop the Code but also to ensure broadcasters’ abide by it.”
- Protecting children from inappropriate programming especially during the watershed period which runs from 5.00a.m to 10.00 pm. In this regard, programmes with scenes of violence, sexually explicit conduct or having vulgar or offensive language are not allowed for broadcast during the watershed period.
- Ensuring protection of democratic principles by obligating broadcasters to observe due accuracy and impartiality in news reporting. Broadcasters are also required to provide equitable opportunities and coverage to political parties and candidates, especially presidential aspirants.
- Ensuring broadcasters observe standards of good taste and decency by requiring them to take into consideration the existing community standards in respect to cultural values, and norms.
- Protecting the individual especially against unwarranted intrusion into their privacy unless there is a clear public interest justification. Broadcasters are also required to provide right of reply where a programme alleges wrongdoing or incompetence or contains a critique against an individual or an organization.
- Ensuring protection against harm by among others requiring broadcasters to provide prior warning to persons who may be suffer from seizures due to broadcast of flashing lights. In addition, the Code outlaws airing programmes that show details on how to administer illegal drugs, make bombs or commit suicide.
- Ensuring protection against crime and disorder by obligating broadcasters to avoid airing programmes that may incite crime or disorder, including hate speech
- Ensuring advertising is honest, decent, trustful and and non-misleading, and promotes the principles of fair competition. In addition, broadcasters are also required to ensure that advertisements aired in their stations contain a minimum of 40% local footage
- Ensuring religious programming nurtures social harmony and does not exploit the susceptibilities of audiences
- Promoting local content in programming by requiring that broadcasters dedicate a minimum of 40% of their airtime to the broadcast of locally produced programmes, including music. Local content does not include news and advertising
- Ensuring access to broadcasting services by persons with disabilities through requiring broadcasters to provide sign language inserts in news programmes, coverage of emergencies and events of national importance
- Promoting adherence to copyright and intellectual property rights of content owners
Six months from now ‘not your mother’s station Kiss 100 will be my kid’s choice television’. Every morning Maina and Mwalimu will teach people on the importance of Agriculture and probably family planning stuff. Six months from now, reality talk shows will cover 70% of our daily shows. In short, KTN 2 probably predicted this unfolding spectacle.
Contrary to other reports, Mr Wangusi provided that the Code does not outlaw preaching on radio and TV stations. Therefore the fears expressed by some faith-based institutions in respect to spreading the gospel through the mass media are unjustified. What the Code outlaws is misuse of broadcasting services to exploit audiences.
“I wish to assure consumers that the Communication Authority of Kenya is committed to ensuring that broadcasters meet their obligations in respect to provision of responsible and responsive programming that meets the varied needs of the public. Broadcasters have an obligation to ensure that public interest is observed at all times.
In this regard, broadcasters who shall be found in violation of the Code shall be levied penalties ranging from KES500,000 to 0.2% of their gross annual turnover. The writing is, therefore, on wall for broadcasters who have been using unorthodox programming practices in a bid to drive up ratings.” The Communications Authority of Kenya director said.
If you signed up for Netflix or have access to YouTube, enjoy them to the fullest because Communications Authority of Kenya may ruin everything.