Exclusive: Insider Insights on the Government’s Decision to Shift State Advertisements to KBC

  • Unveiling the Future: Government’s Historic Shift of State Advertisements to KBC

In yet another significant blow to the local media industry, the government has decided to withdraw advertisements from privately-owned radio and television stations, directing that all government adverts exclusively run on Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).

This directive, coming just a month after a similar move targeting print media, signifies that independent radio and television stations will no longer receive government revenue, except for The Star newspaper, which circulates the MyGov publication exclusively every Tuesday.

The move has sparked uproar within the Media Owners Association, the Kenya Editors Guild (KEG), the Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) among other media associations which accuse President William Ruto’s government of unfairly targeting the media industry which is already struggling.

Under the new directive, all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) under the national government, as well as independent commissions and public universities, are mandated to advertise through the state-owned broadcaster.

According to Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary Edward Kisiangani, this decision is part of a broader strategy to ensure efficient public sector advertising services and aligns with the government’s policy of revitalizing public sector entities and ensuring fair public-private partnerships.

In a memo dated March 7, Kisiangani emphasized that KBC’s extensive national network coverage guarantees advertisers nationwide reach.

The government aims to modernize KBC to become the premier national broadcaster in Africa, positioning it as the leading source of information in Kenya.

Addressed to principal secretaries, CEOs of state corporations, regulatory bodies, independent commissions, and vice-chancellors of public universities, the memo notifies recipients of the new policy and requests compliance.

All advertisements to be aired must be cleared by the Government Advertising Agency, responsible for coordinating all public sector advertisements.

He said the communication adheres to Treasury’s Circular No. 09/2015, centralizing public sector advertising, aimed at cost-cutting through coordinated procurement processes for maximum service levels at minimal costs.

Given the substantial pending bills owed to media houses by the government, Kisiangani stressed the need for strategic measures to address the situation.

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