15 August 2018

Tanzania: Stick to Professional Code of Ethics, Mct Tells Journalists

MEDIA Council of Tanzania (MCT) Ethics Committee chairperson Judge (retired) Juxon Mlay has said journalists should stick to the professional code of ethics.

He also called on members of the media fraternity to observe professional ethics, saying there was deviation from journalistic norms.

Speaking during a consultative meeting with journalists and other media stakeholders in Dodoma City, he noted that journalists needed to know that their duty was more of service to members of the public than just a source of income.

"A lot is being discussed about journalists taking brown envelopes, but this should make you stick to professional ethics," he said.

Moreover he urged media house owners to consider improving the benefits of their employees so that they could work efficiently in executing their duties.

He noted that media practitioners were likely to face tough times ahead, following the passing of the Access to Information Act, 2016, which had given the government more powers in dealing with media practitioners.

Judge Mlay also said it was high time to engage in debate why the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004 was not adequately enforced to improve the welfare of journalists.

For his part, MCT Programme Manager Pili Mtambalike said journalists should abide by the code of ethics and media owners should also play their role in empowering them.

"While undertaking your noble duty, take into account that there are rules for the game and you should stick to them for you to operate smoothly," she noted.

While acknowledging the plight of most journalists, especially those in upcountry regions, she urged them not to lose hope.

MCT Executive Director, Kajubi Mukajanga said a big problem was the so-called brown envelopes that served as facilitation.

"There is a need for wider consultation on how journalists should be facilitated for them to perform their duties effectively," he said, adding that media owners should play an important role in doing it.

The meeting that brought together journalists and media stakeholders in Dodoma was organised by MCT to help discuss various challenges facing journalists in performing their duties and experience from other stakeholders on how to amicably work with journalists.

Dodoma Regional Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) Deputy Commander Musa Chaulo said there was lack of mutual trust between journalists and public office holders.

"We all depend on journalists to let the public know what we are doing, but to some extent there is lack of trust between the two groups," he noted.

Representing the regional mufti, Phile Philip reminded journalists to engage in other income generating activities to supplement their incomes and not rely only on their employers.

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