Tag Archives: Zanzibar boat accident

The Tanzanian media has had a bad crisis

It seems I wasn’t entirely fair when I recently complained about the inaccuracy of a couple of photos circulating around Tanzania’s social media scene following the tragic MV Spice Islander disaster. The mainstream media has done no better.

First, a brief reminder. The photos below are not of the MV Spice Islander, but rather photos from previous ferry tragedies elsewhere in the world, and yet they were both posted widely on facebook, twitter and various blogs over the weekend of the disaster. For an explanation of where the photos were originally taken, see my earlier post.

Yes, the social media users I highlighted got it wrong, but then so did several mainstream media outlets, many of which have published the first of these photos in print and/or online. Continue reading

#ZanzibarBoatAccident and the Tanzanian media – failure all round?

The tragic events taking place in Zanzibar in the early hours of Saturday morning are a national disaster, and three days of mourning have rightly been declared. Our thoughts are with those who lost lives or lost loved ones. May their souls rest in peace.

The disaster raises questions about regulation of maritime transport and accountability, though it is too soon to reach firm conclusions on what went wrong and too soon to see whether people will be held to account.

But we can begin assessing how the media handled the 24 hours after the crisis broke.

Continue reading