How to be accredited as a Journalist in Kenya

journalist is an individual that collects/gathers information in form of text, audio, or pictures, processes them into a news-worthy form, and disseminates it to the public. The act or process mainly done by the journalist is called journalism. How to be accredited as a Journalist in Kenya

Journalists can be broadcast, print, advertising, and public relations personnel, and, depending on the form of journalism, the term journalist may also include various categories of individuals as per the roles they play in the process. This includes reporters, correspondentscitizen journalistseditorseditorial-writerscolumnists, and visual journalists, such as photojournalists (journalists who use the medium of photography).

reporter is a type of journalist who researches, writes and reports on information in order to present using sources. This may entail conducting interviews, information-gathering and/or writing articles. Reporters may split their time between working in a newsroom, or from home, and going out to witness events or interviewing people. Reporters may be assigned a specific beat or area of coverage.

Matthew C. Nisbet, who has written on science communication, has defined a “knowledge journalist” as a public intellectual who, like Walter LippmannDavid BrooksFareed ZakariaNaomi KleinMichael PollanThomas Friedman, and Andrew Revkin, sees their role as researching complicated issues of fact or science which most laymen would not have the time or access to information to research themselves, then communicating an accurate and understandable version to the public as a teacher and policy advisor.

In his best-known books, Public Opinion (1922) and The Phantom Public (1925), Lippmann argued that most individuals lacked the capacity, time, and motivation to follow and analyze news of the many complex policy questions that troubled society. Nor did they often directly experience most social problems, or have direct access to expert insights. These limitations were made worse by a news media that tended to over-simplify issues and to reinforce stereotypes, partisan viewpoints, and prejudices. As a consequence, Lippmann believed that the public needed journalists like himself who could serve as expert analysts, guiding “citizens to a deeper understanding of what was really important”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journalist

In 2018, the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook reported that employment for the category, “reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts,” will decline 9 percent between 2016 and 2026

Benefits of Accreditation

  1. Helps in professionalization in journalism.
  2. It helps journalists to access information by allowing participation in conferences, workshops, trainings and other gatherings.
  3. It enhances the protection of the rights and privileges of journalists in the performance of their duties.
  4. Privacy of Accreditation Information: Once a journalist is accredited, they agree to disclosure of their accreditation status including when they were accredited, the organization they work for and their academic qualification
  5. Card Replacement: Lost press cards will only be replaced upon production of a police abstract and letter from the employer stating the loss. The card replacement fee is Ksh 300.
  6. Student press cards will ONLY be issued to students going for internship, 4th year Undergraduate students and 3rd year Diploma students.

Here is How to be accredited as a Journalist in Kenya

The Accreditation Requirements
The following are the requirements for accreditation;
1. Local Journalists/Media Practitioners
All journalists accrediting for the first time with the Media Council of Kenya MUST provide the following requirements for vetting before proceeding with the accreditation process.

  • A letter from the employer
  • Professional Certificate (ORIGINAL) that is either a Degree of Diploma in Communication from a recognised training institution
  • Portfolio of work done either in Print or Broadcast ( Please provide the work not website links)
  • A clear passport size digital photograph


2. Freelance Journalists

  • A reference letter from an organization that publishes your work
  • Professional Certificate that is either a Degree of Diploma in Communication from a recognised training institution
  • Portfolio of work done either in Print or Broadcast ( Please provide the work not website links)
  • A clear passport size digital photograph


3. Foreign Journalists
All foreign Journalists are required to provide the following;

  • A letter from the employer
  • Professional Certificate that is either a Degree of Diploma in Communication from a recognised training institution
  • Portfolio of work done either in Print or Broadcast ( Please provide the work not website links)
  • A clear passport size digital photograph
  • Valid Work permit
  • Passport


4. Students
Students studying in accredited colleges and Universities are eligible for accreditation. This will be issued once satisfaction has been made that the student is in their final phase of their training and is proceeding for industrial attachment.

  • A letter from training institution indicating that the student is to go for internship
  • Valid Student ID
  • A clear passport size digital photograph

The following cadre of people are eligible for accreditation:

  1. Journalists working in media enterprises
  2. Freelance journalists
  3. Foreign Journalist
  4. Students pursuing media, journalism and communication studies
  5. Public Relations Practitioners
  6. Advertising Companies
  7. Media Trainers

Accreditation Fees:

  1. Local Journalist: Ksh 2,000
  2. Foreign Journalist: (Long Term more than 3 months) Ksh 10,000
  3. Foreign Journalist (Short Term – Up to 3 Months): Ksh 5,000
  4. Student: Ksh 300

Apply Online

  1. An applicant can apply for accreditation as a journalist online by visiting the Media Council of Kenya (MCK’s) Website and make an application through MCK’s online portal through the following link: Online Accreditation Portal
  2. Please visit the Media Council of Kenya (MCK’s) Website homepage scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Accreditation Icon to proceed to the accreditation portal.
  3. Upon entering the accreditation portal’s homepage, click on the “Journalist” tab and then choose the “Register (New Journalist Only)” to enter the next page.
  4. You will be taken to the next page once you click the “Register (New Journalist Only)” option where you will be asked to provide your personal information, for you to be registered in the portal. This information includes:
    • Email address
    • Full names
    • Gender
    • Date of Birth
    • Phone number
    • Passport photo
    • Password
  5. Please provide your valid information and click on the “Submit” button to submit your application. A verification link will be sent to the email address you provided during the registration process.
  6. Log in to your email address and click on the verification link. This will lead you to MCS’s Online Accreditation Portal homepage, click on the “Journalist” tab and then choose the “ Login” option so as to begin your accreditation process.
  7. Use your email address and password to log into the portal. Here click on the “Membership Request” tab and select the “New Application” Option to apply for accreditation.
  8. Once you click on the “New Application” Option, you will be taken to the next page where you have to choose the category of accreditation you want to apply for: i.e.
    • National Journalists working in media enterprises
    • Freelance journalists
    • Foreign Journalist (Long term / Short term)
    • Students
    • Public Relations Practitioners
    • Media Trainers
  9. Fill in the required information and click on the “Submit” button for review.
    • At this point your application status will read as “Pending Approval”.
    • The application approval usually takes a period of two days.
  10. Once your application is approved, a confirmation message will be sent to your email address, and your application status will change to “Pending Payment”.
  11. Proceed to the make the accreditation payment through Mpesa using the instructions provided in the portal.The Payment instructions will be generated and displayed automatically in the portal.
    • Please do not make any payment before receiving a confirmation massage of approval from MCK asking you to make the payment.
  12. Once you have made the payment a pdf copy of your Press Card will be availed in your MCK account , a hard copy of the Press Card can be picked in person from the Council’s Office at Britam Center, Upper-Hill, Nairobi.
    • You will be required to provide proof of identification when collecting the Press Card.

Apply In-Person

  1. An applicant can also apply for accreditation as a journalist in person by visiting the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) offices .The contact information of the MCK offices can be found in the “Office Location & Contact” Section of this page.
  2. Here the applicant will be given an Accreditation Application Form to fill and submit. The application form can also downloaded from the MCK’s official website through the following link .
  3. Fill in the application form and attach the required documents. A list of the required documents is mentioned in the “Required Documents” section of this page.
    • Note: make sure you choose the category of accreditation you want to apply for on the application form: i.e.
    1. Local Journalist
    2. Foreign Journalist
    3. Student /Intern
    4. Other (Here specify any other category not mentioned above)
  4. Submit the completed application form and all the required documents to the Media Council Of Kenya (MCK) Offices and proceed to pay the required fees. Details of the required fees for accreditation are provided in the “Fees” Section of this page.
  5. Submit the payment receipt to the MCK Offices for processing of your application to begin.
  6. Once the accreditation process is completed the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) will contact the applicant to collect the accreditation ID in person.
    • Accreditation is usually completed after a period of seven days.
  7. The applicant will be required to produce proof of identity while collecting his accreditation card (Press Card).

MCK Office Locations & Contacts

Media Council of Kenya – Head Office
Address: Ground Floor, Britam Centre,
Mara/Ragati Road Junction,Upper Hill
P.O. Box 43132 00100 Nairobi
Kenya
Tel :+254 727 735252, +254 702 558233, +254 702 558234,+254 702 558453
MCK Website
contact details
Accreditation Portal

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