Tanzanian journalists have been advised to stand ‘firm’ in their profession and report on investigative news instead of relying on top officials as their major sources of information as in developing countries most of such sources are normally not fully reliable and can be uncooperative.
This was said at the weekend in Dar es Salaam by a renowned activist Deus Kibamba, at the 12th graduation of Time School of Journalism (TSJ) in which out of 234 students, 52 were awarded with Basic Certificate in Journalism, 70 with Advanced certificate in Journalism and 112 with Diploma in Journalism 112.
Kibamba claimed that in developed countries, the executives (sources) would normally not deny journalists information when approached but in developing countries, the culture of acquiring reliable information from sources is minimal.
He challenged journalists to specialise in investigative news and write news based in rural areas whereby about 80 percent of Tanzanian lives, instead of relying on getting information from governmental top officials who are sometimes not cooperative.
“Wananchi in the villages have experienced many things, so it’s only rational for journalists to go talk to them as from them they could get more hidden information that they would not get from government officials; something that could trigger the country’s development,” said Kibamba who is also a chairman of Tanzania's independent constitution forum.
However, he said despite the presence of many media outlets in the country, only a few of them disseminate reliable information. “It’s not fair for a professional journalist to engage in publishing news based on gossips or the ones interfering people’s privacy while there are many issues to deal with including the constitution reform and the economy,” he stressed.
For his part, Mangusi Mkoba, a TSJ Board of directors’ member said the school will work on the advice given by the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) of starting using its curriculum which will enable its students to sit for the council’s exams.
“We have organised to work on the weaknesses as mentioned by the NACTE in order to enable us be provided with ‘full accreditation’. He noted that effectively from January next year all graduates will have to pay for their certificates before been certified by NACTE.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Information and communication of students’ organisation (TISJOSO) Moris Lyimo called upon the government to review the Broadcasting Act (7) of 1993, saying that it creates monopoly among executives in terms of giving Frequency Modulation.
“The Act has failed to oversee the operation of Radio and Television stations whereas the owners have been employing anchors who are not journalists by professional but talented as presenters,” he said.