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Media Council of Tanzania Website
State organs – the security, immigration, fire brigade, anti-corruption bureau, prisons, anti smuggling force (KMKM) and judiciary have in principle reached an understanding with media to promote cordial working relationship.
The understanding was reflected in views expressed during an historic meeting which brought together the state organs and the media.
The Executive Secretary of the Media Council, Kajubi Mukajanga, whose organization hosted the meeting held at the Hyatt Regency The Kilimanjaro Hotel in Dar es Salaam on September 17, 2014, said that it has been a long cherished dream of the Council to organize such meeting.
“We had planned it in our current programme strategy – starting from 2012 to 2015 to hold a meeting of this nature to harmonies the working relations between state organs and the media”, he said.
“We are glad that we have succeeded in holding this meeting”, he added.
The police who were fully involved in the preparations of the meeting, were not present as they had had withdrawn on short notice, ostensibly due to some urgent national security issue.
The Vice President, Dr. Mohammed Gharib Bilal who opened the meeting, urged the two sides – media and the state organs to cooperate.
“The media should not be seen as enemies and the media should understand the position of the state organs”, the VP implored.
Underscoring the importance of the role of the media, Dr. Bilal also appealed to the media to promote specialization.
He said it was now pertinent that journalists specialized on various fields such as agriculture, health, economy, gas and so on.
Representatives of some state organs expressed limited disappointments on the conduct of some section of the media.
They pointed out that some media outlets publish stories without establishing the truth which in most cases impact negatively.
They insisted the media should research, cross check and balance before publishing stories.
Some representatives also decried the attitude of reporters of demanding payment to write stories and experience has shown that if they are not paid, coverage of their events are not published.
However the national security department was taken to task on why it was not responding to accusations published in the media.
Veteran journalist and media trainer, Ndimara Tegambwage, presenting a paper on investigative journalism, blamed the department for not being transparent and responding on issues raised against it.
The Executive Secretary of MCT, Mukajanga, went even further by pointing out that with all these crises obtaining in the country such as bombings, we all hear of the police but where is the security department what is it doing?
As for the promotion of specialization, Mukajanga urged media outlets to start by assigning reporters to special beats.
The police were also not spared as some media representatives blamed them for lacking cooperation, flexing muscles and at times applying undue force.
An appeal was made for the state organs including the police to have a human face and one speaker suggested for the police to be renamed as Police services and not Police Force.
The Managing Editor of the Citizen, Richard Mgamba made a presentation on security of journalists and emphasised on nationalism and professionalism.
As for the sustainability of cordial working relations, it was suggested the two sides meet annually and a suggestion was made that the next meeting to be held in Zanzibar.
The Chief Judge, Justice Shabaan Lilla, participated fully in the one day meeting and was keen in establishing a forum between the judiciary and the media.
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