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CA publishes new Programming Code for Broadcasting Services

The Communication Authority of Kenya has published the 4th edition of the Programming Code for Broadcasting Services.

The revised guidelines have been set out for all media outlets in the country in order to facilitate responsible use of the broadcasting platform.

Channel 1

In a gazette notice published Tuesday, FTA broadcasters shall, within one year of award of licence, ensure that at least 40% of their station’s programming is local content.

Broadcasters should ensure their programmes protect children from adult content noting that material unsuitable for children should not be shown between 5.00am and 10.00pm.

“The transition from family-oriented to adults only programming after the watershed period of 10.00pm shall be gradually executed.” Stated the notice.

According to the new directives, the free-to-air broadcasters are required to prepare and provide the broadcast signal distributor with an electronic programme guide for audiences to use to access information relating to the schedule of programme materials for all broadcasting services it carries.

On broadcast voting, they must be conducted fairly ensuring that viewers and listeners are not materially misled about any broadcast competition.

Similarly, on election coverage, media outlets are required to offer consistent pricing for airtime purchased by parties and candidates.

Broadcasters also are expected to take specific steps to promote the understanding and enjoyment of programmes transmitted through its stations by persons who are physically challenged and in particular, persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, or who are blind or partially sighted.

CA wants broadcasters to establish a complaint handling procedure as specified by the Authority.

Consequently, the new code expects broadcaster to make appropriate arrangements to ensure that complaints are received and recorded by a responsible person during normal office hours.

In addition, broadcasters are required to obtain relevant license from the Betting Control and licensing Board, BCLB, to air any gaming promotional activities.

On copyright obligations, broadcasters shall be responsible for all obligations and liabilities to any third party associated with copyright or other rights that may arise from the broadcast of copyright programmes.

Online radio and TV service providers operating in Kenya or whose services target Kenya and undertake streaming services shall ensure that the content provided on their platforms, fully complies with the relevant provisions of the Law, Programming Code and supporting Broadcasting Sector Guidelines where applicable.

CA also says sex and related subjects must be treated with care and must conform to what is generally acceptable to Kenyan society. The authority warned that any programmes involving such subjects must conform to the requirements of the watershed and rating by the Kenya Film Classification Board or its successor thereof.

The Authority noted that the Programming Code will 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 8th March 2024 via Kenya Gazette notice No. 2726 in Kenya Gazette Vol. CXXVI No.29.” Stated the notice.

The Communications Authority of Kenya stressed that the guidelines are set to come into effect in the next 30 days warning that the broadcasters that fail to adhere risk revocation of their licenses.


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