Program code not targeting churches unfairly, says CA

January 11, 2016 5:56 pm
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“The fears expressed by some faith-based institutions in respect to spreading the gospel through the mass media are unjustified.  What the code outlaws is misuse of broadcasting services to exploit audiences,” said Wangusi/FILE
“The fears expressed by some faith-based institutions in respect to spreading the gospel through the mass media are unjustified. What the code outlaws is misuse of broadcasting services to exploit audiences,” said Wangusi/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 11 – The Communication Authority of Kenya has stated that it is not trying to outlaw preaching on radio and TV stations.

According to the Authority’s Director General Francis Wangusi, the recently published programme code for free to air radio and television services is meant to protect Kenyans from being exploited.

“The fears expressed by some faith-based institutions in respect to spreading the gospel through the mass media are unjustified. What the code outlaws is misuse of broadcasting services to exploit audiences,” said Wangusi.

Wangusi stated that the program code outlines the programming content standards that local free to air broadcasters have to observe as they play their role in providing information, education and entertainment services.

Some of the codes stipulated in the program include the restriction of screening programmes with scenes of violence, sexually explicit conduct or having vulgar or offensive language during the watershed period which runs from 5am to 10pm.

“The program also demands that broadcasters observe standards of good taste and decency by requiring them to take into consideration the existing community standards in respect to cultural values, and norms.”

“It also demands that local content in programming is promoted as the code requires that broadcasters dedicate a minimum of 40 percent of their airtime to the broadcast of locally produced programmes excluding news and advertising,” Wangusi said.

The statement by the authority comes at a time when the Attorney General has set up regulations that demand among others, that all religious societies seek registration and be subject to registrar’s inspection, clerics submit certificates of good conduct and their theological training certificates among others.

Operators have until mid this year to comply with the provisions when the code will be effected.

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