The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has instituted a task force to review betting and related activities in media outlets for a period of 30 days.
The team will consist of eminent media sector professionals who will address all emerging issues, best practices and their impact on the media industry and submit a report thereafter.
The Media Council of Kenya is mandated under Article 34 of the Constitution to set media standards and regulate compliance with those standards. Section 6 (d) of the Media Council Act, 2013 mandates the Council to promote and enhance ethical and professional standards amongst journalists and media
According to a statement by the Media Council of Kenya, the content in advertisements and talk shows often does not meet the standards established in law.
The Council has noted that the regulation of such content is important to safeguard the accuracy of information consumed by the public.
Similarly, MCK said the promotion of and advertising of gambling on media platforms is a potential public health issue as it may have a direct and material effect on gambling participation, particularly by children.
Recently, it has been observed that media houses are taking part or running gambling programmes without licenses and advertising gambling outside watershed hours in some cases during children’s shows.
Accordingly, the Council says it has found it necessary to develop structures and processes that will enable organized and collaborative interventions within the sector. The media plays a crucial role in informing, entertaining, and educating the public and should accept accountability when it negates its primal duty.
The teams’ terms of reference will be to assist the MCK to find out the nature of such, differentiate between in-house betting and betting advertisements.
Additionally, assess legal implications by the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) and Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) within the Code of Ethics for media practice in relation to the promotion of gambling in media and investigate media house’s ability to vet advertisements and outside content and shows.
And finally, make recommendations to the Council on the place of advertising code in relation to promotion and hosting of gambling in media.
The membership of the taskforce will be as follows:
1. Mr. Emmanuel Juma – Chairman
2. Mr Wangethi Mwangi – Member
3. Mr. Ken Bosire – Member
4. Ms. Ruth Nesoba – Member
5. Ms. Julie Masiga – Member
6. Mr Tole Nyatta – Member
7. Dr. Lydia Radoli – Member