6 July 2011

Kenya: New Content Requirements to Hit Local Broadcast Stations

Nairobi — The Government is piling pressure on broadcasters to increase programming for local and children's content.

New Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) proposals released on Tuesday, target radio and television companies. The CCK released the draft broadcasting code of practice for free-to-air radio and television for public comment, before they are published in the Kenya Gazette as required by law.

According to the draft document seen by the Daily Nation, television and radio stations will be required within one year to increase local programming to more than 40 per cent, which excludes advertising and tele-shopping.

"Television or radio stations, which does not possess the proper proportion of local content at the moment of this code's adoption, must increase the share of these works every year by a suitable percentage, so that it progressively achieves the overall proportion within a period of one year for radio and three years for television from the day of entering into force of this code," reads part of the draft guidelines.

The stations must provide detailed information on the progress of these programmes' proportion update on half-yearly basis.Media owners welcomed part of the regulations, but insisted that there is need to agree on a number of issues likely to affect the sector.

"The local content clause is good, as it will strengthen local production," said Media Owners Association, Vice chairman, Mr Kiprono Kittony. However, the 40 per cent requirement should be worked over a period of time, agreed by all players, he said.

"There is shortage of local content and players will need more time on this," Mr Kittony, also Radio Africa group chairman said.

"Broadcasting because of its immediate and lasting impact on audiences, demands that its practitioners display a high sense of responsibility, morality, fairness and honesty at all times," the code says.

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