Kenya: CCK to Issue Tough Broadcast Rules


10 October 2011: Radio and television broadcasters will soon be required to review their programming as the Communication Commission of Kenya enforces a new broadcast regime.

The new regulations to be issued soon aims to prevent airing of unsuitable material for children and minors at times when there is likely to be a large audience of young listeners or viewers.

According to the CCK acting director general Francis Wangusi, the broadcast content advisory council has finalised the preparation of the new code of conduct that will radically change the way radio and television stations plan their broadcast.

Wangusi said the new code will crack down on FM stations which broadcast adult discussions during morning hours while also stopping TV stations from showing inappropriate shows during the day.

A draft broadcast code published by the commission stipulates that all programmes broadcast between 5.00 AM and 10.00 PM must be suitable for family audiences.

"These are programmes or movies classified/rated as General Exhibition (GE) or rated 10 by Kenya Film Censorship Board. The transition from family-oriented to a more adult programming after the watershed time of 10.00 PM shall be gradually executed," reads part of the code which is currently under consultation.

The code states programmes that requiring parental guidance and which has mild adult themes or content but may be of particular education or entertainment value to younger viewers should be aired after 10.00 PM. The programme should also be preceded by at least a five seconds advisory warning that also includes their rating.

"Broadcasters are encouraged to include in all parental guided programmes warnings in other publicity materials like the TV page in newspapers and TV guides," adds the code.

The code however states that the Constitution of Kenya recognises and upholds everyone's right to freedom of opinion and expression, which includes freedom to seek, receive or impart information or ideas but precludes disrespect for the rights, reputation and freedom for others.

As such, the code states that radio and television stations have freedom to produce programmes while adhering to professional and generally accepted values, ethical and moral standards.

Nevertheless, broadcasters are responsible for the broadcast materials relayed through their stations, regardless of their source, as well as professional activities of its employees.

"Broadcasting stations are expected to schedule programme materials that adhere to generally accepted standards of decency. These standards include but are not limited to respect of ethnic, cultural and religious diversities in Kenya," the code reads.