Govt assures safety of journalists

06Nov 2019
The Guardian
Govt assures safety of journalists

THE Tanzania government will continue to cooperate with the United Nations Educational, scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as well as other organisations in fighting against, and find solutions to all negative challenges that threaten the safety of journalists and other media people-

-including those operating online.

Minister for Information, Culture and Sports, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe in Arusha  said when opening a five day conference of media stakeholders   to mark International Day to End Impunity Against Journalists.

He said: “ We as government  recognise the importance of the media, as the media enables the world to know what we say and what we want. The media must also recognize they are accountable in instilling respect in the media sector and to protect the journalist.”

Dr Mwakyembe said the media has a great responsibility to ensure the life of a journalist is safe and stressed that the safety of these professionals begins in the newsroom.

He said the Media Law Act (No 12) of 2016 recognizes that journalism is a profession if it stands by and put in place conditions in developing the profession and journalism ethics.

The Law has put in place board of control for journalists, independent media board an d a system to oversee media service and the media fund and ensure they are fully insured at all times they practice their profession.

He said the media organizations must recognize they have a big responsibility to ensure the lives of their journalists are safe starting from the newsroom.

Responding to one of the resolutions of the 2018 meeting that called on the government to establish the coverage professionally and by law on freedom of expression and to accede to the authority of the African Court of Justice on human rights as well as rights of journalists, Dr Mwakyembe explained that Tanzania is among seven African countries which have already ratified the protocol.

Dr Mwakyembe praised Mussa Kalokola and Michael Kimollo from Hype Interactive Ltd from Dar es Salaam for inventing a system to enable getting information and data of journalists who are in danger when doing their work.

UNESCO representative Tirso Dos Santos, reading a message from UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres said press freedom is important as it informs and educates people, prop up democracy which is important in realizing sustainable development.

Quoting the UN boss, Dos Santos said when journalists are targeted, the society in general suffers. “Without the ability to protect journalists our ability tgo receive information and our ability to give decisions are greatly impeded.”

On his part the Arusha Regional Commissioner Mrisho Gambo assured the safety of those attending the meeting at all time they are in Arusha and said that the meeting should act as another push for the media people by adhering to the laws and regulations guiding their professions.

International Day to End Impunity Against Journalists is celebrated every year on November 2 whereas in Tanzania the meeting takes five days from November 6 to 8 2019 in Arusha.

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