CA introduces new programming code to guide all broadcasters in Kenya 

As a response to the dynamic nature and advancements in the broadcasting industry, the Kenya government has announced the implementation of the fourth Edition of Programming Code for Broadcasting Services in Kenya.

The Programming Code for Broadcasting Services will be implemented by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), the regulatory agency for the ICT industry in Kenya with responsibilities in telecommunications, e-commerce, cyber security, broadcasting and postal/courier services.

“The Authority is vested with the responsibility of promoting and facilitating the development of the broadcasting industry in Kenya. This includes setting standards for the time and manner of programmes to be broadcast by ALL licensees as provided for under Section 46H (1) of Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998 (as amended),” stated CA director general David Mugonyi.

“The Act empowers the Authority to prescribe, review and ensure compliance with the Programming Code. The dynamic nature of broadcasting necessitated the review of the Programming Code to incorporate the broadcasting content requirements for both free-to-air and subscription service providers. These provisions shall be applicable to ALL broadcasting licensees.”

The Programming Code will further be supported by Broadcasting Sector Guidelines based on industry needs and requirements. The reviewed Programming Code was arrived at through a public consultation process and was gazetted on March 8, 2024 through the Kenya Gazette notice No. 2726 in Kenya Gazette. The comments received informed the final Fourth Edition of the Programming Code which is now available for free download on the Authority’s website.

The updated Broadcasting Code aims to, among other things: ensure that Licensees providing broadcasting services in Kenya have regard to prevailing
content standards, while protecting the right of Licensees to responsible freedom of speech; protect vulnerable persons from inappropriate content; ensure that audiences in Kenya are assisted in making informed choices about the content that they and their children my watch and listen to; and to provide uniform, speedy and effective procedures for the handling of complaints from the public about programme content or compliance with the Code.

The Programming Code will further be supported by Broadcasting Sector Guidelines developed from time-to-time based on industry needs and requirements. The Broadcasting sector guidelines are expected to serve to expound on the provisions of the Programming Code for clarity and provide explicit expected deliverables from the broadcasters.

The Programming Code is applicable to all broadcasters in Kenya – whether TV, radio, or online. In addition, persons who regularly go on air and news writers, scriptwriters, editors and directors whose job is to produce material which go on air are expected to know and understand the provisions of the code.

“All broadcasters are therefore required to comply with the provisions of the Programming Code to ensure that as a public resource, broadcasting platforms at all times maintain a standard that is acceptable to all sections of the Kenyan community. Further, broadcasters are advised to ensure compliance with the said Programming Code as such compliance will form part of the basis for issuance of Annual Compliance Certificates and licence renewals,” the CA boss emphasised.


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