THE media fraternity in the country yesterday joined the rest of the world in marking World Freedom Day, with the government expressing commitment in ensuring independence of the press and lack of restrictions in information dissemination in the country.
The day comes at a time when the media in the country has been clashing with politicians and with the certain sector of the fraternity blacklisting some politicians over various reasons.
One of such clashes that are still fresh in the minds of the public is that of the media and the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, whereby some media organisations resolved to blackout the politician.
Speaking at the climax of the media day celebrations held at national level in Mwanza, Minister for Information, Sports, Arts and Culture Dr Harrison Mwakyembe castigated the tendency by some media to blacklist politicians, saying it was not only unprofessional but also prevents such leaders from exercising their noble duties.
The Minister went on to urge the aggrieved parties to seek amicable solutions rather than taking drastic actions that disadvantage and deny the general public their right to information.
He, however, went on to promise scribes that the government will continue providing an enabling environment for them to operate. With the government having done its part through promising the media of conducive environment, it is high time the media reciprocates and make sure that ethics are observed to the highest degree. The media provides a platform used by politicians, wananchi, and everyone to air their views at the same time getting vital information. Media polarization should, therefore, not be accepted for efficiency to be realized. On the other side, the media should strive by all means to uphold peace in the country.
By being partisan, failing to follow journalism ethics and spreading hate messages, the media have the ability to disrupt the peace of the country.
The country has enjoyed this peace since independence and has developed into a haven of it, therefore, journalists in performing their roles should know that they are Tanzanians first and whatever they do affects them, their relatives and their country.
Media houses should therefore stick to their conventional roles of educating, entertaining and informing their audiences rather than losing objectivity and embracing polarization. The use of media for personal gains is dangerous for the country and that should be nipped in the bud.
It is important therefore that the media in this country unite in promoting development, unity and peace rather than being a source of disorder and incitement. Journalists should play an important role in preserving peace and fostering development.