Kenyan broadcasters have till June to comply with law on local content law
SEE ALSO :Regulator to review programming code"We are a broadcasting regulator and we are not attempting to define or regulate religion but there are some televangelists who are clearly exploiting the public and the code is addressing these individuals," the CA boss said. The new broadcasting code has far-reaching implications and will have a big impact on the cost of doing business for stakeholders in the broadcasting industry including television stations, advertisers, film-makers among others. Annual turnover The regulations include mandatory inclusion of 40 per cent (9.6 hours) of local content failure to which the broadcaster risks a fine of between Sh500, 000 and 0.2 per cent of their gross annual turnover whichever is higher. The Government has further excluded news from the definition of local content giving broadcasters another headache of filling the 40 per cent quota by June.
SEE ALSO :CA seeks new tool to monitor telcosAdvertisers will also be required to ensure that at east 40 per cent of commercials contain local scenes, are produced by local crew and are free from lewd, misleading or other undesirable content. This is expected to promote the local film and broadcasting industry and limit the importation of foreign content in the country which has traditionally been blamed for the demise of the local film industry. The Government has, however, come under heavy criticism from broadcasters who claim that their input to the law was not considered. "We had explained to CA that some of the definitions in the code are too broad and risk victimising other legitimate televangelists and religious programming but the CA never responded to us," said Halton Lugalia of Hope FM. "Our major concern is that the interpretation of this code is subject to misuse because definitions like 'sect', 'harass' or a 'religious group' for example could mean a wide range of things and leave loopholes for litigations," he added.