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MKUTANO

The media fraternity has resolved to jointly petition against legislations which stifle and impede freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

This is one of the resolutions reached during the annual consultative Summit of the Tanzania Editors Forum (TEF) and the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT).

The meeting held on May 29 and 30, 2014 at the Aishi Protea Hotel along the slopes of Kilimanajaro Mountain in Machame, brought together over 50 editors from various media outlets on the Mainland and Zanzibar.

The Regulation and Standards Manager of MCT, Pili Mtambalike, who read the resolutions as the meeting was inching towards the end explained later that the anti press legislations include the 1976 newspaper Act, Broadcasting Act, sections of the penal code, official secrets and national security acts.

The meeting also resolved that the media fraternity – MCT and TEF should come with a joint statement on the Constituent Assembly on the on-going process of getting the new national constitution.

EXCURSION2

The editors were in agreement that the statement should appeal to both sides of the political divide in the constitutional process to bury their differences and facilitate realization of the new constitution.

On election coverage, the meeting resolved that media outlets should stop relying on politicians and set their own budgets.

They appealed to MCT, TEF , the Union of Tanzania Press Clubs (UTPC) and the Tanzania Media Fund (TMF) to initiate means to support the media in covering the elections also all media institutions should coordinate election training programmes to avoid duplicating training especially in the regions.

During the two – day meeting editors were also in agreement on the need to improve coverage and adherence to the professional code of ethics.

Several papers including the State of the Media Report 2013: an overview and trends in 2013, by John Mireny the Publications, Research and Documentation Manager of MCT and Journalists under siege – Press freedom Violation 2013 by Pili Mtambalike also of MCT were presented during the meeting.

Bakari Machumu, the Executive Editor of Mwananchi Publications – publishers of The Citizen and Mwananchi newspapers presented a paper on the Challenges to Editorial; Independence whereas Mwanzo Millinga who was the Secretary of the panel of judges of the Excellent in Journalist Awards (EJAT) presented the judges report on the competition.

Other presenters included the Chairperson of the Tanzania Editors Forum, Absalom Kibanda whose paper was Media in the Eyes of the Government and Newsroom editorial challenges ahead of the 2015 elections was presented by Deodatus Balile, the Managing Editor of Jamhuri newspaper.

Neville Mena the TEF Secretary and editor at Mwananchi Communications presented a paper titled reflections on professional readiness for Civic and General Elections, Jesse Kwayu the Managing Editior of Nipashe presented a paper on Cheque book journalism and challenges to editorial independence in election reporting while Theophil Makunga of Mwananchi Communicatins and member of the TEF board , spoke on taking the litigation option to achieve freedom of expression and the press.

Mtambalike and Mireny made second presentations - Strengthening Articles 30 and 31 in the Draft Constitution proposals from MCT and News Media agenda for 2015 elections respectively.

The consultative summit, the 3rd since 2012 was officially opened by Dr. Charles Mlingwa, the District Commission for Siha on behalf of the Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner, Leonidas Gama.

The first consultative meeting was held in Morogoro in 2012 and the second was held in Tanga in 2013.

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