6 December 2012

Tanzania: Feature Local Content, Broadcasters Told

PARTICIPANTS at the Annual Broadcasters' Conference have advised Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) to concentrate on local content to allow freedom of creativity among broadcasters.

'We should develop more creativity and talented broadcasters. Let's allow and help those talents to operate effectively by empowering them so that they can be loved by audiences', said Dr Ayoub Rioba, a lecturer at the Institute of Journalism and Mass Communication (IJMC).

Dr Rioba was speaking in Dar es Salaam during the Annual Broadcasters' Conference 2012. The conference is sponsored by TCRA every year during the month of December. The theme of the workshop was "Challenges of Broadcasting in the Digital Environment."

Commenting on the challenges of "Broadcasting Content in the Digital Environment," Mr Arliondo Lopez, a presenter, said digital migration will enable more channels on the same frequencies. He added that digital content across multiple platforms will demand quality, creativity skills, knowledge and talent.

There is a need for the government and broadcasters to work together in order to meet the demand for local content which is more relevant and more attracting to audiences, he said. Mr Lopez noted that broadcasters need to know the needs of their audiences.

They should also focus on their target audiences. He added that broadcasters need to define a realistic and effective strategy to remain relevant in the digital environment.

The TCRA Director General, Prof John Nkoma, said that this year's 2012 ABC workshop is held at a time when Tanzania is preparing to switch off the analogue system of broadcasting (on December 31, this year) in order to meet the deadline set by East African Community member states and ahead of the SADC deadline of December 31, 2013.

The ABC 2012 theme is "Beyond Analogue Switch-off: Challenges and Opportunities". He noted that the conference had brought together more than 200 delegates comprising licensed broadcasters who operate in Tanzania.

Also in the conference are invited national broadcasting organizations and regulators from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, as well as exhibitors of digital broadcasting equipment from Tanzania, Kenya, France, South Africa, Italy and the United Kingdom.

The analogue switch off at midnight on December 31 is intended to pave the way for full digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcasting in Tanzania. It has a lot of advantages compared to analogue systems of broadcasting in terms of improved picture quality, more choice of content and other value added services.

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