Sabahi (Washington, DC)

11 January 2013

Tanzanian Journalists Call for Constitutional Protections

Members of the Tanzania Editors' Forum (TEF) have called on the Constitutional Review Commission to protect the freedom and independence of the media in the new constitution, Tanzania's Daily News reported Friday (January 11th).

Deodatus Balile, speaking on behalf of the TEF, asked that the constitution safeguard freedom of expression and the right to information, and that the government not try to control or harass journalists who publish dissenting opinions.

The TEF also proposed that parliament appoint a 15-member National Media Council to regulate the media sector, rather than subjecting media houses to government laws. The council, which would include legal and media professionals, would set media standards and monitor media compliance.

The Media Owners' Association of Tanzania echoed the TEF's suggestions, and also requested that the constitution abolish licensing requirements for media houses.

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