The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has launched the fourth edition of the Kuza Awards. The annual event seeks to recognize and reward excellence in the broadcasting industry. This year’s theme is “Preserving our Cultural Heritage through Broadcasting: Kenya a Heritage of Splendour.”
Speaking at the event, CA Acting Director General Mercy Wanjau said broadcasting is a powerful medium for influencing culture and should reflect the national values, culture, aspirations, hopes and dreams of Kenyans.
‘‘Media platforms such as radio and TV play a significant role in portraying and influencing the culture of a nation,’’ said Mrs Wanjau.
This year’s awards seek to acknowledge broadcasters who promote patriotism, uphold Kenyan culture, beliefs and values and who have made a contribution towards national unity and cohesion.
In the 2020 awards, three new categories have been introduced. The Patriotic Award will fete individuals (or entities) that have made a positive impact through broadcasting in preserving national heritage, unity and cohesion. The Upcoming Broadcaster Award will recognize new broadcasters who are complying with the regulatory requirements while the Copyright Award seeks to enhance adherence by broadcasters to Copyright and Intellectual Property requirements.
This year’s Kuza Awards will also offer audiences a chance to vote for their favourite broadcasters in the People’s Choice Award category through the SMS short code 15601 at a date to be announced later.
Mrs Wanjau also indicated that starting July this year, the Authority will only issue compliance certificate to broadcasters who meet all the licence conditions and other regulatory requirements.
‘‘One of the key elements that we shall be evaluating for eligibility for annual compliance certificate is compliance with copyright obligations in accordance with their license conditions,’’ observed Mrs Wanjau.
She challenged the media to utilize their platform to shape positive perceptions in how the Kenyan narrative is portrayed and to leverage on the combined synergies of the industry and audiences towards the growth of a vibrant competitive and resilient broadcasting industry in Kenya.
The media were also called upon to ensure promote inclusivity through the sign language interpretation to ensure those abled differently are able to enjoy their programming.
‘‘The Authority therefore encourages broadcasters to engage qualified sign language interpreters to guarantee quality signing for audiences who may be abled differently,’’ added Mrs Wanjau.
The 2020 Kuza Awards Gala is scheduled for June 2020.