28 November 2012

Tanzania: Envoy Urges Scribes to Uphold Professional Ethics

THE Swiss Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Olivier Chave has called upon journalists and independent producers to uphold professional ethics in their work in order to maintain credibility and respect among their clients.

Ambassador Chave threw the challenge during the opening of a three-day "pre-project implementation workshop" held on Monday in Morogoro. Eight media outlets and independent producers are attending the workshop convened by the Tanzania Media Fund.

"I'm a media addict and ardent supporter of press freedom, things which I have cherished since I was growing up. However, I like reading, watching or listening to reliable and researched information that you can trust.

"I admire your job and I know you work under pressure, exposing yourselves to risks at times but this should not deter you from upholding professional ethics by writing or producing balanced and accurate stories," said the envoy.

Ambassador Chave told the beneficiaries of institutional grants from TMF that at times he was shocked and irritated at the coverage of some newspapers that never bothered to seek comments from the other side to balance their stories.

"Tanzania has a very interesting and peculiar media planet and I really like the diversity of newspapers. The media is a trusted pillar and you should strive to maintain this trust that existed since I was growing up when we would say it is true because it has been printed," he said.

The ambassador told the grantees that Switzerland was particularly happy to support the media fraternity in Tanzania in its efforts to promote quality journalism, adding that his country would explore possibilities of increasing its presence in the sector.

He lauded the TMF management for doing a great job in its core businesses of grant-making and learning. Earlier, TMF Director, Mr Ernest Sungura briefed the ambassador on the purpose of the workshop, saying it was essentially meant to build the grantees' capacity on project management, quality report writing, financial management and Monitoring and Evaluation on how to track success stories.

The media outlets and production companies participating in the workshop are Gaba Africa Limited, Ladyband Company Limited (Changamoto newspapers), Maa Media Centre, Dhamira Communicating and Artists Company Limited and Passion FM.

The rest are Ebony Entertainment (Ebony FM), ABM FM Radio, Radio Kili FM Stereo Limited. The Tanzania Media Fund is supported by Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Ireland through basket funding. Switzerland is the lead donor.

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