of commitment to implement them (domesticate) and there is no effort by
government to publicise to the citizens the international laws that it has ratified.
All print publications – even newsletters – are required to register with the state
Registrar of Newspapers as well as the Postmaster General prior to publication,
in accordance with the Newspaper Act of 1976. By June 2012, there were 763
registered newspapers, 26 television stations, including two state channels - and
85 radio stations - three of which are state-owned in Tanzania. There is no legal
definition of ‘community broadcasting’ in any of the legislation or policies in
Tanzania. Further, the legislation is silent on concentration of media companies.
The Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) and its sister the Zanzibar
Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) are said to be in the process of transforming from
state to truly public broadcasters, to cater for all citizens without interference from
government. Both are funded by government through taxpayers’ contributions,
though the funding is insufficient and might be a contributor to the poor quality
of programming. The broadcasters lack computers and cameras, and routinely
experience technical problems. Further, since the new TBC director-general was
appointed, there has been a feeling that the TBC journalists do not attend press
conferences held by NGOs who are critical of the state.
Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) regulates the broadcasting
sector fairly and in the public interest. It operates according to the TCRA Act
of 2003 and appears to do so relatively independent of the state, even if the
chairperson of the board is appointed by the president, and the board members
are appointed by the Minister of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports. The
Tanzanian government has appeared to be open to input from media interest
groups and civil society in terms of reforming media legislation, but this process
seems to be very slow, with no tangible results yet.
Newspapers are relatively affordable to urban citizens, selling for between TZS
500 (US$ US$0.32) and TZS1,000 (US$0.63). However rural distribution is an
issue and Newspapers do get outlying areas but are often not on time, arriving
two days late due to infrastructural challenges.
The Tanzania Media Product Survey conducted in 2011 by Synovate showed
that Mwananchi, a Kiswahili newspaper, had the highest readership of any daily
newspaper in the country, selling some 40,000 copies each day. While Radio Free
Africa, a private station broadcasting from Mwanza had the greatest listenership
in the country.
The media is very selective in what it chooses to cover, mostly opting for ‘sexy’
topics that sell, rather than covering all types of news, including NGO issues.
Additionally, investigative reporting is minimal as journalists are afraid of
repercussions from the state in particular if it involves reporting of sensitive topics
like corruption. Journalists can be forced to reveal their sources of information
under the guise of national security. The standard of reporting is not fair, and



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