Tag Archives: media sector

Gongo la Mboto revisited: social media and redio mbao

To date, this blog’s most read post, by a pretty wide margin, is our analysis of how traditional Tanzanian media reported the Gongo la Mboto explosions in February. There we used Twitter to piece together an assessment of traditional media’s performance in reporting the tragedy.

Since that was posted, at least three other blogs have also used Gongo la Mboto as a case study of the media in Tanzania – specifically Vijana FM, Global Voices and a more academic analysis from Malmo University’s Communication for Development Portal. Each has something valuable to offer, but as SwahiliStreet has rightly pointed out in comments on the Daraja and VijanaFM posts, none (ours included) have really got to grips with one big challenge of social media – accuracy and reliability. Continue reading

#bombsindar: Gongo la Mboto, the media event, as told by Twitter

The explosions at Gongo la Mboto on Wednesday were a huge tragedy in human terms and a huge embarrassment for the government in general and the army in particular. But they also showed up the state of the Tanzanian media in a less-than-positive light. Coverage of what’s probably Tanzania’s biggest news event of the year has been disappointing.

For various reasons I wasn’t able to follow TV or radio news directly, only indirectly via Twitter, Facebook and Jamii Forums. Journalism was once famously described as the first rough draft of history, but perhaps there’s now an even earlier “zero draft” available: the twitter feed recording an event as it unfolds. Continue reading

Reflections on the elections through a Daraja window

A few weeks have passed, (most of) the dust has settled and life is beginning to get back to normal. So it seems an opportune time to look back and reflect on what was a very interesting election period.

If you find yourself thinking, “oh no, not another election reflection,” rest assured we won’t be going over the same ground that has been very ably covered elsewhere (Pambazuka; Vijana FM; The Mikocheni Report – all of which are highly recommended.) Instead we will be looking at the election through a “Daraja window”, thinking about how the election affected core Daraja themes of water supply, local government, the media and civil society.

Let’s start with water supply. As this blog has previously highlighted, this was a non-issue in the campaigns, particularly at national level and despite consistently ranking very high in citizens’ priorities. Continue reading

Water (not) in the news: more evidence of water supply being sidelined in #uchaguzitz

How much coverage does water supply get in national newspapers? Answer, not much. In the past year since Daraja has been monitoring the press, there was a peak of stories around Maji Week and World Water Day in March, but otherwise not much. And in the election campaign period, the number of stories has been even lower than usual, presumably since space is taken up with other campaign issues.  Continue reading

Water supply is missing in #uchaguzitz 2010. More evidence.

Just a little more evidence in support of the case made previously that water supply is largely absent at national level from the general election campaign. In this case, the chart shows the breakdown of issues focussed on in media election reporting during September, as monitored by Synovate’s Tanzania 2010 Election Monitoring Project. Water supply doesn’t even get a mention.

– – – – –

Originally posted on Daraja’s blog, at http://blog.daraja.org/2010/10/water-supply-is-missing-in-uchaguzitz.html

Media and civil society in #Tanzania – too close for comfort?

A debate has been rumbling recently in the blogosphere about whether the relationship between civil society and the media is becoming closer than should really be the case. As the director of an NGO that could be reasonably accurately described as a media organisation, how could I possibly hold back from engaging in such a debate!

The post that drew this discussion most particularly to my attention was from Pernille Baerentsen’s After Africa blog, asking the question: How much should international NGOs push the media to provide a certain kind of news? (Some other key links are listed below.) Pernille uses Twaweza’s DaladalaTV project as an example, a project that promotes public debate in the back of a commuter bus-turned-TV studio. Though she likes the programme, she complains that HIVOS, the Dutch NGO behind Twaweza, makes unlikely claims about the agenda being set by Tanzanian citizens.It is certainly the case that many NGOs (whether international or national – and most national NGOs are anyway largely dependent on foreign funds) have sometimes found attracting media coverage for their research and advocacy work to be challenging, and have shifted towards engaging the media directly in various kinds of partnerships. Whoever pays the piper picks the tune, as they say, so the content of such programmes is undoubtedly determined by the NGOs. Is that an infringement on the editorial independence of the media? Continue reading