CA boss Ezra Chiloba: says stations violated broadcast standards during Monday's protest coverage

Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) DG Ezra Chiloba. [File, Standard]

The Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) says six (6) TV stations violated the regulator's set standards in their live coverage of the Azimio-led protests on Monday.

According to CA's Director-General Ezra Chiloba, the TV Channels aired images likely to cause either panic or incitement.

"The Authority has established that at least Six (6) TV stations, namely, Citizen TV, NTV, K24, KBC, TV47 and Ebru TV, provided coverage in a manner that violated the Programming Code," Chiloba's statement reads in part.

"The coverage depicted scenes that could cause panic or incitement to the public, threatening peace and cohesion in the country,"

In addition, the communication regulator threatened to revoke operating broadcast licences if any broadcaster violates the rules again.

"Failure to adhere to the outlined obligations shall be acting in breach of licence conditions, which shall attract liability under relevant provisions of revocation of broadcast licence and broadcast frequencies," he says.

"While the Authority promotes freedom of the press, it is imperative that all broadcasters exercise caution in Live Broadcast Coverage in order to avoid scenes that would be detrimental to peace and cohesion."

CA has outlined the following obligations for all broadcasters.

  • That right to Freedom of Expression, does not extend to propaganda for war, incitement to violence, hate speech or advocacy of hatred that constitutes ethnic incitement, vilification of others, or incitement to cause harm or discrimination.
  • To provide responsible and responsive programming that caters for the varied needs and susceptibilities of different sections of the Kenyan community.
  • To ensure that no broadcasts by its station -glorifies violence or depict violence in an offensive manner; or are likely to incite, perpetuate hatred, or vilify any person or section of the community;
  • To take care in coverage of crisis situations so as not to hinder or obstruct efforts by authorities to resolve the problem.
  • The presentation of news and commentaries must not be done in a way that would create unnecessary panic or alarm.
  • That morbid, violent, sensational or alarming details that are not essential to factual reporting are not permissible.
  • Broadcasters are responsible for the broadcast materials relayed on their stations, regardless of their source, as well as the professional activities of their employees.

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