6 July 2012

Tanzania: New Media Law On Horizon

Dodoma — THE Cabinet is close to endorsing the proposed Bill on Media Law, the National Assembly was told here on Thursday.

The proposed Bill is now at the Cabinet Secretariat level and is waiting for decisions of the top government level, according to the Deputy Minister for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, Mr Amos Makala.

Mr Makala said the existing media policy was adopted in 2003, in which several amendments were made to meet the demands of time and technological advancement. He said the policy still needs more amendments to meet the East Africa Customs Union Protocol demands.

The Deputy Minister also admitted that several local electronic and print media are airing and publishing false and misleading advertisements. He warned that such adverts have detrimental effects to the public.

"The ministry through its relevant organs, such as registrar of newspapers, has been summoning offenders and forcing them to retract or correct false and misleading adverts in accordance with laws and regulations," said Mr Makala. He said that remedial action has always been taken against media houses that disobey the order.

Such action, he said, include issuing strong warnings and suspension or revoking their licences altogether. Makala said on the part of Radio and Television, the ministry is working closely with TCRA to monitor their operations and similar action is normally taken in case of misconduct.

The Deputy Minister was responding to questions from Dustan Kitandula (Mkinga - CCM), who expressed concern on the increasing wave of misleading adverts from various media outlets.

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