7 December 2012

Tanzania: Minister Calls for Broadcasting of Public Interest Programmes

BROADCASTING stations are needed to increase television programmes prioritising public interest stories rather than spending a lot of time airing music programmes and foreign adverts as if there is nothing to broadcast.

The Minister for Communications, Science and Technology, Prof Makame Mbarawa, advised broadcasters to put in place strategic plans of changing from music or mobile programmes to development programmes.

"My call to you directors and owners of broadcasting stations is for you to ensure that information from rural areas is equally covered as compared to that of urban areas, due to the fact that majority of Tanzanians live in rural areas," said Prof Mbarawa.

The minister who was the guest of honour at the Annual Broadcasters' Conference 2012 held in Dar es Salaam made the call while officially opening the meeting. Prof Mbarawa directed owners of broadcasting stations to stick to journalism ethics by producing unbiased coverage.

He said the government will do its best to ensure that plans to switch from analogue to digital succeed so that Tanzanians benefit through the new technology.

In his welcome remarks, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Director General, Prof John Nkoma, mentioned poor infrastructure especially in rural areas, shortage of experts for producing various programmes as some of the major challenges facing digital transformation.

The Annual Broadcasters' Conference brought together more than 200 delegates comprising licensed broadcasters operating in Tanzania and invited national broadcasting organizations and regulators from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

Others are exhibitors of digital broadcasting equipment from Tanzania, Kenya, France, South Africa, Italy and United Kingdom.

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