He said for a long time the media in western countries have been writing all bad news in developing countries for their own interests, which has made some African media to also start writing bad things about their own countries.
“Western media have been writing bad news of other countries. Is it possible to always have dirty clothes without even having clean ones?” questioned Ambassador Farhang when speaking with the management of The Guardian Limited in Dar es Salaam during his visit at the company’s offices in Mikocheni yesterday.
The Ambassador stressed that the media in Tanzania should realise that they have a big responsibility in the country’s political, economic and social development hence the need to be careful with foreign propaganda that can slow back the country’s development.
He said the media in foreign countries can write news that is hateful about a leader of a certain country but have been doing that not as against the person, but against the country.
“For example you may not like the country’s President, John Magufuli, but not the country as a whole, but why should the hate against Magufuli be directed to the whole country? This is not right and the media should be careful about it,” he said.
Ambassador Farhang also cautioned the media on the habit of publishing pictures and reports about aid extended by various institutions to the society in need, saying this degrades the society that is given such aid.
He said some institutions have been giving money to poor households while showing a replica of a bank cheque showing the amount of cash given as aid, adding that this exposes the true condition of the households – that they are poor.
“There are other institutions, including the Iranian Embassy that provides aid to the society without advertising. You advertise yourself for giving aid to those in need? This is the same as deriding them,” he said.
The Guardian Limited General Manager, Srinivas Chintaluri said there has been a habit by some institutions, banks in particular whereas they have been circulating pictures when providing aid to society.
But, Ambassador Farhang said there is no problem for a bank to publish pictures of a function such as opening a new branch or development activities.
He advised the media to have policies that would control the publication of news that undermines sections of the society that are in need.