INEC urges journalists to emphasize fairness in elections

DAR ES SALAAM: As Tanzania heads towards its 2025 General Election next year, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reminded journalists to ensure fair coverage for all political candidates.

Speaking at a training session conducted in Dar es Salaam by INEC on June 13, 2024, Assistant Director of Tanzania Information Services (MAELEZO), Mr. Patrick Kipangula, emphasized the importance of fairness.

He noted that the training aims to empower journalists to inform the public, enabling them to make well-informed decisions at the polling centers.

“By adhering to principles of impartiality and inclusivity, the media can play a pivotal role in safeguarding the integrity of the democratic process in Tanzania while maintaining national peace,” he said.

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Mr. Kipangula highlighted a recent report from the University of Dar es Salaam analyzing media coverage during the 2020 General Election, which revealed significant disparities in the attention given to different candidates and parties.

According to the report, out of 629 newspaper articles analyzed from August 26 to October 27, 2020, the major sources of the articles were politicians (565, 89.8%) compared to ordinary people (5, 0.8%).

Moreover, CCM received predominant coverage (351 articles, 55.8%), while opposition political parties were minimally covered (198 articles, 31.5%).

On his part, TCRA’s Broadcasting Services Manager, Andrew Kisanga, stated that the communications director plans to create a conducive environment for journalists to educate the public on the election process, emphasizing professionalism and ethics in fulfilling this responsibility.

INEC’s Assistant Director of Information and Voters Education, Giveness Aswile, urged journalists to support election programs to raise public awareness of the democratic processes.

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