African Media Barometer
The media landscape in Tanzania continues to be diverse and highly competitive,
offering the population a wide range of sources of news and entertainment. This
has seen positive developments in the last two years which include the Media
Council of Tanzania (MCT) and the Tanzania Media Fund taking an active role in
not only providing skills training for journalists, but also in educating the public
on the complaints procedure. Additionally, the MCT, in conjunction with the
National Council for Technical Education, has devised a standardized curriculum
for journalism.
This effort has also benefited support from the civil society organisations
where citizens continue to be educated on the rights to access to information.
Furthermore, this has influenced the establishment of the Tanzanian Editors’
On the converse, the government of Tanzania continues to use draconian laws to
clamp down on freedom of expression and any media that does not ‘toe the line’.
This has led to the Chairperson of the Tanzanian Editors’ Forum and a journalist
from Daima Newspaper arrested on charges of sedition.
Tanzania has two constitutions namely the constitution of the United Republic
of Tanzania (1977), and the constitution of Zanzibar (1984). Legally, Zanzibar is
termed an autonomous unit within the United Republic of Tanzania though the
Zanzibari law is governed by the Tanzanian constitution. The two constitutions
guarantee freedom of expression to all citizens. Nonetheless, freedom of the
media is not specifically stipulated in both, and article 30 of the Tanzanian
constitution claws back on the freedom of expression in the name of ‘public
interest’, privacy, and defence of the nation. The Freedom of Information (FOI)
Bill is yet to be implemented and with these exemptions in the Constitution, it
makes the implementation of any kind of (FOI) legislation challenging. Therefore,
it is difficult to access state held information as the FOI Bill is not yet in place.
A string of laws that can restrict freedom of expression remain on the statute
books in Tanzania. A call to have them reviewed goes way back to 1991. This
impacts negatively on freedom of expression.
Tanzania has ratified various international laws such as International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). However, there has been no demonstration



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