21 December 2012

Tanzania: New 'Katiba' Should Include Media Freedom Section, Saystef

TANZANIA Editorial Forum (TEF) has recommended that new constitution should have a special section which gives freedom to the media in helping its professionals act responsibly and freely in the field.

Addressing Journalists in Dar es Salaam, TEF Secretary General Mr Neville Meena said that the perspective was recommended at the meeting of editors in Tanga last weekend, which was attended by 70 members.

He said that editors were shocked after realizing that the current constitution does not have any section that states something about media freedom.

"We crosschecked the current constitution and found no article about freedom of media. It hurts us because we recognized that the constitution does not state anything about the Press freedom even after its 14th amendments in 2005," he said.

Mr Meena noted that for the sake of transparency and development of the country, the new constitution should have the section which shows that it is the right of every individual to be informed (right to information). He noted further that the editors meeting came up with recommendation that insists that it was high time to enact the proposed Media Service bill.

Mr Meena stated that editors have also noted poor quality of news, something that has prompted complaints from the public. "News stories are not written professionally and this has prompted some complaints from news consumers," he said.

Other things which were noted in Tanga's editors meeting include unethical trend of some television and radio stations, which causes unprofessionalism in broadcasting. TEF chairman Mr Absalom Kibanda said that editors' forum was there to collaborate with government to ensure they play key role in development.

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