Media stakeholders have praised President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s sixth-phase government for promoting press freedom and adopting a participatory approach that attracts investments in the information sector.
Stakeholders expressed their perspectives on the development of the Information, Communication, and Technology sector, in a virtual meeting, saying that in comparison to previous years, the country has achieved remarkable success in the media industry within a year of President Samia’s reign.
Deodatus Balile, Chairman of the Tanzania Editors Forum (TEF), stated that press freedom has improved within a year of President Samia’s administration, with newspapers now publishing stories that could not be previously published.
He said that the ministry’s information transfer has resulted in a solid combination to boost the media industry’s efficiency.
Before the changes, the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts, and Sports was in charge of the Information Docket.
Mr Balile said that the lifting of the ban on four newspapers, Mwanahalisi, Mawio, Mseto, and Tanzania Daima, as well as the reopening of online television channels, has put the country on a good record.
“Tanzania was ranked 69th in the World Press Freedom Index in 2014, but 104th in 2021, demonstrating how press freedom has deteriorated. On the other hand, the media has breathed a sigh of relief as a result of the current government’s actions. The President has also ordered that private media be granted advertisements to improve the media industry’s performance, Balile pointed out.
He stated that stakeholders have decided to commemorate World Press Freedom Day in Tanzania this year, following the new developments in the media industry.
DSTV Executive Director Jacqueline Woiso, in particular, stated that such changes in regulations and proper oversight by the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority had given television operators new optimism, adding that decoder sales have increased by 14 per cent.
Minister for Information, Communication and Information Technology, Nape Nnauye, commented that the transfer of the information docket to the ICT ministry alone was a great accomplishment because it addressed the concerns of media stakeholders.