THE government has formed a nine-member committee to come up with the recommendations on poor economies in the country’s media industry, which puts journalists’ families at crossroads.
Speaking with journalists in Dodoma yesterday the Minister for Information, Communication and Information Technology Nape Nnauye said that following the President’s instruction the ministry had internal and external discussions and decided to form a committee that will work out to assess the economic status of media houses and journalists as well as giving recommendations on how to improve the situation.
“We have formed the committee to evaluate economic status of the media industry, this committee will work to find out information regarding media economic and operational status” said the minister said.
In quick analysis, it was noted that the outdated media law will soon be overhauled.
He added: “This committee will be headed by Tido Dastan Muhando Chief Executive of Azam Media Group… as a chairman and he will have a major responsibility to find out the economic status of journalists in their respective media houses.
“We need to know journalists’ employment status, their income and how their employment contracts are respected; we also want to know if what was signed and agreed is being implemented and if it is in line with journalists’ actual needs.
“We need information from both employed, non-employed, contract holders, regional representatives and others who collaborate with our media in implementing media industry activities.”
Nape mentioned other duties to be performed by the committee as to recommend the best ways to deal with economic and operational challenges in media houses- so as to find ways to improve journalist’s working condition and their lives.
He said that in the recommendation that will be made by the committee, some will be implemented by the media itself, the government and other stakeholders to ensure that media and journalist’s economy grows equally.
Nape also asked the committee to form a system that will enable them to receive online views and ensure that it works within three months, so to allow the government to work on those challenges to improve media industry and journalist’s economic and operational status.
Besides Tido Muhando the committee also comprises Gerson Msigwa the Chief Government Spokesperson as Secretary, Dr Rose Reuben Director of Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA), Joyce Muhavile Director of ITV and Radio One and Sebastian Manganga Head of Content Clouds Media Group.
Others are Bakari Machumu Director of Mwananchi Communication Ltd, Keneth Simbaya the Director of Tanzania Press Clubs Union, Jackline Weiso Director of Mult-Choice Tanzania and Richard Mwaikenda Journalist from CCM Blog.
On the other hand, the Ministry has asked citizens who haven’t yet verified their phone numbers to make sure they do so because the government will switch off all unverified phone numbers by February 13, this year.
He said the government has decided to switch off all unverified phone numbers due to the increasing wave of fraud through mobile phones.
“Due to the growth in communication sector, there has been an increase of crime through mobile phone, so we expect to close all unverified phone numbers by February 13, this year for the aim of ending fraudsters from the system” he said.
“Communication sector has experienced rapid growth as up to January 19, this year more that 60.7 million phone numbers were registered, among them 58.4 million phone numbers equals to 96 percent of all registered phone numbers were verified and only 2.3 million phone numbers equals to 3.8 percent were not verified by January 19” he explained.