Media houses have been warned against propagating gambling especially in local FM stations.

Speaking at Kibabii University during the celebration of the world Radio day the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) CEO Mr.David Omwoyo confirmed that MCK is determined to eliminate gambling in all local radio stations and has put in place measures to ensure that these practices are stopped .

This comes after an uproar over heightened lottery-like activities across many radio stations around the country.

According to a research done by the Media Council of Kenya, there has been an increase in the number of gambling programs in recent times where listeners are asked to send money in order to win cash prizes which in most cases winners are stage managed.

“While this may be a way of generating income to the media owners, gambling affects the listeners as most of them are taking it as a legitimate and simple way of making money where they end up being conned in the process.

This is a dangerous trend and we are going to issue regulations t6o see to bity that it comes to an end,” said Omwoyo.

Media Council of Kenya CEO Mr. David Omwoyo speaking during
World Radio Day Celebration in Bungoma County
Photo by Omelo

This scenario has not only provided a fertile ground for unauthorized gaming activities but has also affected the general messaging of lotteries to a menial “send this and win that” without informing the public what competition or lottery they are engaging in.

Omwoyo indicated that MCK reached this decision after noting that the content of advertisements did not meet the standards set by the law.

He further discouraged the use of the media outlets to disseminate fake news and propaganda especially during this electioneering period saying that there is a need to bring back the trust of the people in the media especially radio.

“During this campaign period, media houses should distance themselves from circulating political propagandas and journalists are asked to be very vigilant in how they present news to their audiences,” said Omwoyo.

The Media council of Kenya has rolled out programs to train reporters on election coverage as a way of ensuring no fake and skewed information is being presented to Kenyans.

Speaking at the same event the Bungoma County Commissioner Samuel Kimiti assured media practitioners that security will be provided to them as we move into active campaigns ahead of the August polls.

Kimiti noted that a lot of people don’t have a clear understanding of the role played by the media in society and anyone who attacks journalists is misguided.

There have been a number of cases reported on attacks against Kenyan journalists and restriction to their work especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

By Treeza Auma

Treeza Auma is a Digital Content Producer and founder of KTMN She is also Television journalist at Kenya News Agency and Leadership Accelerator at Women in News.

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