FORMER Chief Secretary, Ambassador Ombeni Sefue, has told Tanzanian journalists to embrace investigative journalism to help the nation in finding solutions hindering development.
Ambassador Sefue, who currently serves as Deputy Chairman of the Criminal Justice Reform Commission made the statement over the weekend in Dar es Salaam when gracing the 14th Excellence in Journalism Awards Tanzania (EJAT).
He said investigative journalism will not only enable journalists to disclose the wrong doings such as corruption but also to give out solutions and news ideas for the country’s development.
Amb Sefue told media practitioners to always research in order to report issues in depth with all facts balanced to bring a constructive perspective that gives answers.
He said research centred media outlets can effectively serve as the fourth estate through providing a platform for mutual interactive communication between the citizens and government thus fostering good governance, transparency, accountability and democracy development at large.
He also urged the media not to hesitate to criticise the government provided they have the facts supported by research.
“The culture of researching prior to criticising the government will enable journalists to understand in detail the roots of an issue,” he said.
“Journalists should prioritise on educating themselves before educating the society,” he added.
On the other side, he called upon the government to continue putting in place a conducive environment for press freedom and freedom of expression while commending the Sixth Phase Government under Samia Suluhu Hassan for initiating amendments in the Media Services Act of 2016.
He said transparency will enable citizens to make informed decisions.
Additionally, he urged journalists to understand laws governing their field while embracing professionalism including objectivity, accuracy and credibility as well as desisting from propagating false information and subjectivity.
During the event, Tanzania Standard (Newspapers) Limited (TSN) Digital Reporter, Ms Hazla Omary, emerged a winner of the EJAT 2022 in the category of Tourism and Conservation Reporting.
Ms Omary said the secret behind her victory was her mastery of in-depth reporting.
“I have won this trophy due to my unique in-depth reporting backed by statistics and creativity. I’m happy to emerge as amongst the winners in this year’s stiff competition,” Ms Omary said.
She also advised other journalists to embark on investigative journalism so that they can expose issues of significance to national development.
The annual EJAT event is organised by the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) in collaboration with other key stakeholders including the Tanzania Media Foundation (TMF) and Tanzania Editors’ Forum (TEF).
This year the EJAT attracted 893 participants compared to 598 participants in the 2021, equivalent to 49 per cent increase, according to MCT Executive Secretary and Chairperson of the EJAT Organising Committee, Mr Kajubi Mukajanga.
He further explained that this year a total of 92 participants were nominated compared to 61 in the last year’s awards.