September 17, 2018. By Priscilla Achieng.
Principal Secretary for Broadcasting and Telecommunication Mrs. Fatuma Hirsi Mohamed has said the government is committed towards creating an environment that enables the broadcasting industry to thrive and generate jobs for the youth.
Speaking at the Sarova Stanley hotel today during a breakfast meeting with broadcasters, Mrs. Mohamed assured the broadcasters of the government’s commitment to enhance and protect media freedom in line with the provisions of the constitution.
Mrs. Mohamed called upon the broadcasters to comply with the legal instruments governing their operations to ensure consumers are protected from undesirable and inappropriate programming.
She pointed out that the Ministry will rely on the broadcasting industry to play a critical role in the realization of the government’s big four agenda and empowerment of youth and women in the country to facilitate socio-economic development.
She said the Ministry is aware of the over-regulation of the broadcasting sector by a multiple statutory bodies pointing out that the Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication, and Technology has constituted a team to review the frameworks to eliminate duplication.
The Principal Secretary added that the Ministry has established a Multimedia Appeals Tribunal created under the Kenya Information and Communication Act 2013, to deal with disputes in the multimedia and telecommunication industry.
The Principal Secretary lauded the growth in number of TV stations from less than five in 1999 to the current 62 TV stations and 169 licensed FM stations. She noted that the entry of multiple players in the market has given Kenyans variety of choices and facilitated right to the public to access to information necessary for the democratic space.
She said, with liberalization of the airwaves and growth of digital media platforms, the competition in the broadcast sector will intensify leading to decline in revenue for the traditional media.
The Principal Secretary urged broadcasters to be innovative in their programming and re-configure their business models if they hope to survive in an increasingly competitive and technologically disruptive environment.