The Media Council of Kenya has confirmed its recognization of mobile phones as professional journalistic equipment.
In a statement to the public, the Media Council said it” wishes to notify the public and all security officers that mobile/smartphones, while in use by duly accredited journalists and media practitioners, are recognised as professional media equipment.”
A study by the Council on the impact of digital technologies on media practice in Kenya
established that the operations, structures, and performances of traditional, new and converged
media formats have been affected by the availability and appropriation of digital technologies.
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/smartphones, while in use by professionally trained and accredited journalists and media practitioners should be allowed when needed.
With advancements 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
The Council advises that duly accredited journalists and media practitioners who seek to use
their mobile phones during events of public interest or newsworthy happenings should be
allowed to do so without being hindered or harassed.
Journalists and media practitioners are advised to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the
The practice of Journalism in Kenya is provided under Schedule II of the Media Council Act 2013.
Specifically, Clause 8 of the Code of Conduct provides for the use of technological tools and
prohibits the use of hidden cameras or phones unless there is NO OTHER way to access the news.
The Council is encouraging training institutions, media organisations and professional support
groups to escalate the inclusion of the use of smartphones as tools for journalistic practices in
their training curricula as a matter of priority.