Government affirms partnership with media

DAR ES SALAAM: THE government has reaffirmed its position as a partner to the media rather than a competitor, with President Samia Suluhu Hassan urging media professionals to adhere to ethical standards and prioritize national interests.

Speaking at the opening of the two-day Media Sector Development Symposium in Dar es Salaam yesterday, President Samia assured journalists that her administration has no intention of suppressing the media, and implored media practitioners to embrace transparency and truth in their work.

“I firmly believe in freedom of opinion and regard the media as a close partner with the government. We must work together to build a strong and accountable Tanzania that respects rights and workers,” President Samia stated.

Now in its second year, the symposium brings together journalists from various sectors, including public and private institutions.

Participants discuss the challenges and opportunities in the media sector, particularly in the context of rapid digital changes.

President Samia called on media houses to adopt a more analytical approach, urging journalists to go beyond simply reporting facts and provide deeper insights and context.

“We focus too much on reporting news rather than analysing it. We have a shortage of news analysts and lack expertise in this area. Our news is not subjected to adequate analysis,” she noted.

Emphasizing the importance of credible reporting, President Samia urged journalists to focus on delivering “clean, transparent, and reliable,” news even if it does not attract much popularity.

She also highlighted the need for greater coverage of rural news through community radio, to ensure citizens in rural areas are well-informed.

“People in Dar es Salaam may not be interested in listening to rural news. Distribute information fairly and uphold your responsibilities,” she asserted.

President Samia also called on government information officers to advise leaders of their ministries and institutions on effective communication techniques and to improve the efficiency of public information dissemination.

Also Read: REPORT: Tanzania media sector struggles as adverts decrease

She stressed the importance of journalists understanding government policies and priorities, noting that some are unaware of even the priorities of their sectors.

Advocating for the establishment of a National Communication Strategy, President Samia emphasized the need to coordinate and improve communication efforts across the country.

She also highlighted the role of journalists in promoting accountability and educating the public about their rights and responsibilities, especially in the context of the upcoming elections.

The Minister for Information, Communication, and Information Technology, Nape Nnauye, said that the symposium, attended by ambassadors and other dignitaries, provides an opportunity for journalists to seek collective answers to the challenges posed by technological changes in the media sector.

He also said that discussions at the symposium include the overall development of news and the role of journalists in the lead-up to the local government elections and next year’s general election.

The symposium is expected to discuss a report launched yesterday by President Samia, focusing on journalists’ professional wellbeing and income.

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