The Media Council of Kenya on Monday, November 28, recognised phones as professional journalistic equipment.
In a public notice, MCK CEO David Omwoyo said accredited journalists are now allowed to use the gadgets to gather news.
According to Omwoyo, 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.
He said 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 media.
Consequently, the MCK boss asked security officers and the general public not to harass members of the press using the devices to cover news events.
"The Media Council of Kenya wishes to notify the public and all security officers that mobile/smart phones, while in use by duly accredited journalists and media practitioners, are recognised as professional media equipment," the statement read in part.
"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."
Public Notice: Journalists should be allowed use of mobile/ smart phones as professional journalistic equipment to gather news.
MORE:https://t.co/YjAYjSgJKy pic.twitter.com/eyhIg6SqpK— Media Council of Kenya (@MediaCouncilK) November 28, 2022
Journalists have, however, been urged to adhere to their professional code of conduct while using the devices.
"Journalists and media practitioners are advised to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism in Kenya as 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 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 group to escalate the inclusion of the use of smartphones as tools for journalistic practices in their training curricula as a matter of priority."