30 January 2013

Tanzania: It Is High Time Local Media Embraced Professionalism

ON Monday, the Minister for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, Dr Fenella Mukangara, visited the head office of Tanzania Standard (Newspapers) Limited (TSN) in Dar es Salaam where she hailed the company for operating profitably.

The minister also showered praise on TSN as among the few public entities that do not depend on the Treasury coffers to go about its business but rather generate its own income, pay requisite taxes and pay dividends to its majority and only shareholder, the government.

She was also happy that although it was operating independently without subsidies from the government, TSN has been able to stand out firm in the highly competitive media industry for many years now. On the professional front, touting the state-owned publisher as the market leader for observing high level of professionalism, she urged TSN to continue setting the pace when it comes to moral standards for others in the industry to emulate.

In today's media industry, thanks to the freedom of speech and expression, a number of newspapers, radio and television stations have been established. However, unlike the electronic media a number of newspapers end up folding shortly after few publications and this is due to the competitive nature of the market.

Thus, for a company as old as TSN to continue dominating the market it is for sure, worth praises. What is even worse for the print media is the coming into the scene of social media where information is relayed on real time basis. It is because of these factors that newspapers are now ought to be creative and adhere to professionalism.

Most of the newspapers died a natural death because they do not adhere to professionalism and thus feed readers biased information or about generally insignificant matters that have no influence in the society. Dr Mukangara did not mince words on the need to adhere to professionalism.

She was clear that even as the objective of establishing TSN was to promote and propagate government policies, publications should not avoid constructive criticisms aimed at correcting the status quo. It is thus high time for the media in the country to embrace professionalism and patriotism towards the building of better Tanzania of tomorrow.

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