Isles calls for professionalism, patriotism in radio broadcast

15Feb 2020
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Isles calls for professionalism, patriotism in radio broadcast

ZANZIBAR Minister for Information, Tourism and Heritage, Mahmoud Thabit Kombo has challenged practitioners in radio broadcasting to uphold the ethics of journalism while discharging their professional duties.

Mahmoud Thabit Kombo

Kombo made the call on Thursday when speaking at the national commemoration of World Radio Day, themed: "Radio and Diversity".

The event, which brought on board representatives from the government, civil society and from across the media system to discuss what diversity means in today’s media landscape was organized by Tanzania Development Information Organization in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) in collaboration with the Tanzania Development Information Organization (TADIO) and other stakeholders.

"Professionalism is not only about knowledge but also good conduct, ethics, and dignity. These are all the characteristics of a good practitioner," he said, urging radio stations and broadcasters in the country to always exhibit patriotism and professionalism in their programming.

He also tasked radio stations among other things are meant to promote peace and unity within society, calling broadcasters to censor the kind of content that goes on air and be strict on the people to feature on their radios particularly at the time when the country is heading to General Elections.

Kombo advised managers and practitioners to bear in mind that the media is a source of security in society by virtue of being an information conveyer hence the need for media houses to be responsible in their productions.

He further advised community radio stations to always be non-partisan as they do their activities.

UNESCO Head of Office and Representative in Tanzania, Tirso Dos Santos said that the radio is still the only means that reach everywhere at an affordable costs, calling radio stations to uphold diversity, both in their newsroom and on the airwaves.

He described radio as a powerful medium for celebrating humanity in all its diversity and constitutes a platform for democratic discourse hence "We need to team up in ensuring that radio reaches as many people as possible."

Radio is by far the most favored medium for information delivery in Tanzania, given its accessibility and cost-effectiveness.

"It is easy to operate and lies within the capacities of many local communities who are often left out by mainstream media and information channels."

UNESCO in Tanzania is implementing the Empowering Local Radios with ICTs for the promotion of Rural Citizens Participation in Democratic Discourse and Development, a four-year (2016-2020) project, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) which aims to strengthen the sustainability of local radios to ensure the timely delivery of quality, accurate, gender-responsive and culturally appropriate information to the public, particularly those in rural and hard to reach areas.

TADIO Board Chairperson Prosper Kwigize thanked UNESCO for the tireless efforts to scale up education for broadcasters in the country, whereby 75 journalists from 25 community radios and 105 leaders of those radios have benefited from the funding from the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC).

The support, he said is meant to ensure that people in Tanzania, especially the poor, women and girls, have the capacity to make informed decisions on issues that affect their daily lives based on access to relevant, culturally appropriate, gender-responsive accurate information and knowledge.

Kwigize also said that community radios have been playing a big role in addressing socio-economic challenges as well as promoting tourism, environmental conservation and luring local and foreign investors.

The statistics from the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) show that from 86 licensed radio in 2012, the number almost doubled until 2017.

World Radio Day was first proclaimed in 2011 by the Member States of UNESCO, and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 as an International Day, on February 13.