The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has asked the public, police officers and security of VIPs and VVIPs to recognise the use of mobile phones by journalists in their line of duty
In a press release dated Monday, November 28, MCK Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo argued that phones were professional equipment in the industry.
However, Omwoyo gave conditions in which portable devices can be used by media practitioners.
“The Council wishes to clarify that Mobile phones are now being used to not only take photos and videos but also record voice clips and undertake live broadcasting including live links.
“Professionally trained and accredited journalists and media practitioners should be allowed when needed,” the statement read in part.
Omwoyo declared that journalists should comply with security agents and show proof of their accreditation status whenever they are called to do so.
MCK explained that this would help reduce the number of incidences where journalists are harassed by security officers during events.
The CEO, however, pointed out that journalists must adhere to the code of conduct even with the new freedom granted to them.
“Journalists and media practitioners are advised to adhere to the Code of Conduct specifically Clause 8 which prohibits the use of hidden cameras or phones unless there is no other way to access the news,” Omwoyo wrote.
In addition, the Council called on universities and colleges offering media-related courses to include the use of mobile phones in their curriculum.
Omwoyo petitioned media organisations and professional support groups to encourage the use of smartphones in the practice.
The guidelines came days after security guards attached to Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s wife Dorcas Rigathi assaulted a Nation journalist for recording an event on phone.