The Communications Authority of Kenya has begun the process of enforcing the adherence to the programming code for free to air radio and TV broadcasting which came into effect on July 1st. CA had given broadcasters six months to adhere to the code which requires among other things broadcasters to air at least 40 per cent local content within the first year of licensing. Broadcasters who fail to abide by these rules will be slapped with fines of Ksh.500,000 to 0.2 per cent of their gross turn over.
The code requires radio and TV broadcasters to transmit programming that is appropriate for family audiences during the watershed period, which runs from 5:00a.m to 10:00p.m. Any programmes or movies classified or rated by the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) as General Exhibition (GE), Parental Guidance (PG) or 10 rated 16 may be aired during this period. KFCB requires that media houses submit their content for vetting and classification to ensure programmes are allocated times to air. The content is also to be reviewed to ensure it meets the set guidelines by the board.
In enforcing the programming code CA will also require media houses to prove for sign language interpretation for news programming, emergencies and events of national importance to promote access to information for persons with disability. In a bid to spur, the local content industry, broadcasters will be required to increase their content to 60% by the four years of commencing operations. Importantly, the code promotes the rights to privacy and safeguarding intellectual property rights of content producers. It also facilitates access to balanced and unbiased news and other programming.