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Journalists have right to use phones as media equipment, MCK says

MCK CEO David Omwoyo (left) and Ambassador Gunnar Andreas Holm, use their mobile phones to take selfies on September 28, 2022. [Elvis ogina, Standard]

The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) says it recognizes smart phones used by accredited journalists as professional media equipment.

MCK CEO David Omwoyo, in a statement on Monday, November 28, observed that journalists using mobile phones are conforming to the new media way of gathering and relaying information.

Omwoyo’s response came days after a  Nation media journalist was roughed up by security officers attached to Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s wife Dorcas Gachagua.

The journalist was using his mobile phone to record the event where Dorcas was distributing relief food when one of the officers clobbered him and snatched his phone.

Omwoyo now clarifies that journalists should be allowed to use the devices.

“The Council has noted some disputes between a section of security officers and leaders on the use of these gadgets to record and transmit news from public events and wishes to clarify that mobile or smart phones, while in use by professional trained and accredited journalists and media practitioners should be allowed when needed,” said Omwoyo.

He added; “With advancement in technology, mobile phones are now being used to not only take photos and videos but also record voice clips and undertake live broadcasting including live links by media.”

Omwoyo further advised media institutions to escalate the inclusion of the use of smart phones as tools for journalistic practices in their training curricula as a matter of priority.