Kenya: CCK to Act On Broadcasters Who Corrupt Young Minds

Regulation & Policy

Stephen Mburu wrote on 5 September 2009 that: "Radio and television stations that bombard their audiences with immoral programmes will be switched off, the government has warned.

The Communications Commission of Kenya, which allocates frequencies to broadcasting stations, will release a code by which all radio and TV stations will be required to stick in a bid to rid the airwaves of immoral programmes by December this year.

The code will prescribe the kinds of programmes that should not be aired at peak or watershed time. The stations will be required to employ trained journalists. CCK says some FM stations are using "unpalatable language", while some TV stations show immoral programmes.

"We are aware some FM stations are not only using vulgar language but are also abusive and defamatory. We have not set date yet but a new licensing framework will certainly be in place before the end of the year," said CCK's director of special duties and broadcasting Francis Wangusi. Kenya has 234 FM stations and 67 TV stations on air.

Rift Valley Province has the highest number of FM stations with 57 followed by Coast with 46. Nairobi has 45. Other regions are Eastern (30), Nyanza (24), Central (15), North Eastern (12) and Western (5). Rift Valley also has the highest number of TV stations (18) followed by Nairobi with 15, then Nyanza and Coast with 10 each. Eastern has 8, Central 5 and North Eastern 1.

There has been concern about a number of programmes aired by FM and TV stations and even the credibility and suitability of the journalists who work in some of them.

Then there are all manner of counsellors who purport to have a solution to every social problem. The CCK has planned a workshop by the end of this month, to address a number of measures, including monitoring all programmes with a view to acting on rogue stations. "The commission is finalising instruments that will help to regulate content that is aired on both radio and TV stations," Wangusi said.

If the code is released and implemented, Kenyans will have an opportunity to complain to the government about programmes that seem to corrupt morals.