CHAIRMAN of the Tanzania Editors’ Forum (TEF), Deodatus Balile has challenged media owners to be creative in finding other sources of income rather than rely on advertisements for funds.
Speaking during an interview conducted by Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday, Mr Balile said that numerous sources of income in the media will help to improve journalists’ welfare, economy and the operations of their respective media outlets.
“Many media houses in the country rely on advertisements to run office activities and pay salaries and that lead to journalists being paid less and sometimes failure to operate independently as a media house,” Mr Balile pointed out.
Elaborating, he called upon the government as well as private companies which advertise in media to make the payments timely so as to allow other activities in the media houses to proceed including salary payments to journalists and other staff.
The chairman added: “Many companies which advertise through various media do not pay for the adverts as agreed as a result they have accumulated debts thus affect even the operations of the media houses.”
On the other hand, Mr Balile said that investment in the media has been growing so fast including improvements of electronic and print media, which result into better content.
“Right now, there are no black and white newspapers, all newspapers are coloured, even the salaries of some journalists are good, there are editors who are paid more than 12m/- per month,” he pointed out.
On his part, a researcher from Deutsche Welle’s centre for international media development, journalism training and knowledge transfer (DW Akademie) Dr Rose Kimani said that Tanzania is doing better in freedom of the media in comparison to other East African countries.
Dr Rose said that the findings of research conducted by Dr Akademie in collaboration with Aga Khan University on the creativity and resilience of the media in East Africa have shown that the media in East Africa have the best editorial methods.
However, she said research has also indicated that there are poor payment and lack of editorial freedom in some East African media houses as a result of the government and companies not paying their advertisement debts on time.