The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has announced plans to add barcodes and QR codes to press cards it issues to journalists in the country.
The move comes in the wake of rising reports of fraudsters masquerading as journalists. These quacks have over the years tarnished the image of professional journalists and professionals in general.
MCK has gone ahead and recalled all accreditation cards it has previously issued to journalists noting that all 2023 Press Cards issued before January 26, 2023, will be allotted afresh at at no cost.
All those in possession of the cards will be required to apply or renew again and return the old Press Cards before being issued with the new card.
The council says the new press cards will feature additional security features to help identify quacks and accredited journalists.
‘’New Press Cards to have additional features including a barcode and QR code that can be scanned using any smartphone,’’ MCK said in a tweet.
On Friday, MCK organized a meeting with industry stakeholders to deliberate on the matter. Although it does not mention who these stakeholders are, the council says the meeting will ‘’agree on practical measures to enhance professionalism and to deal with the rising cases of fraudsters posing as journalists.
“It has come to our attention that there is an escalation of fraudsters masquerading as journalists and media practitioners who get access to events to extort and harass people,” MCK CEO David Omwoyo said.
“The Council is committed to fostering a conducive working environment for journalists and media practitioners through improved standards and constantly engaging relevant stakeholders to address pertinent issues affecting the sector,” Omwoyo added.