You may have heard or even participated in the many betting games on media outlets in Kenya well the Media Council of Kenya has moved to keep betting in check by instituting a team to review betting and related activities in media.

The council has observed that media houses are taking part or running gambling programmes without licenses and advertising gambling outside watershed hours in some cases during children shows.

Accordingly, the Council has found it necessary to develop structures and processes that will enable organised and collaborative interventions within the sector.

The Media Council of Kenya is mandated under article 34 of the Constitution to set media standards and regulate compliance with those standards while Section 6 (d) of the Media Council Act, 2013 mandates the Council to promote and enhance ethical and professional standards amongst journalists and media enterprises.

It is against this backdrop that the professional body has put up a team consisting of eminent media sector professionals who will address all emerging issues, best practices and their impact on the media industry.

“The Council has noted that the content in advertisements and talk shows often does not meet the standards established in law. The regulation of such content is important to safeguard the accuracy of information consumed by the public,” said David Omwoyo Omwoyo ,Chief Executive Officer & Secretary to the Council.

“Promotion of and advertising of gambling on media platforms is a potential public health issue as it may have a direct and material effect on gambling participation particularly by children,” he added

The media plays a crucial role in informing, entertaining and educating the public and should accept accountability when it negates its primal duty. The teams’ terms of reference will be to assist the MCK;

  • To find out the nature of such, differentiate between in house betting and betting advertisements.
  • Assess legal implications by the BCLB and CA within the Code of Ethics for media practice in relation to promotion of gambling in media.Investigate media house’s ability to vet advertisements and outside content and shows.
  • Make recommendations to the Council on the place of advertising code in relation to promotion and hosting of gambling in media.

The Membership of the taskforce will be as follows: 1. Mr Emmanuel Juma – Chairman 2. Mr Wangethi Mwangi – Member 3. Mr Ken Bosire – Member 4. Ms Ruth Nesoba – Member 5. Ms Julie Masiga – Member 6. Mr Tole Nyatta – Member 7. Dr Lydia Radoli – Member

The report of the review committee will be awaited with bated breath especially by media outlets which have found betting games to be lucrative avenues of revenue. The public, on the other hand  is quite happy about this recent development as they complain the games were becoming a nuisance and getting in the way of good viewership or radio experiences.