MEDIA outlets in the country have been urged to be vibrant in reporting on matters pertaining to anticorruption to supplement the government efforts in the fight against the scourge.
The Swiss Ambassador to Tanzania, Ms Florence Mattli said yesterday in Dar es Salaam that anti-corruption as the government’s priority in fostering national development requires the media support in reporting objectively on issues related to the vice by holding those with power accountable.
The envoy made the remarks when officiating at the launch of the Yearbook on Media Quality in Tanzania 2018, whose findings indicated poor quality reporting with regards to professionalism, ethics and comprehensiveness.
Based on the findings, Ms Mattli said that the low end quality of media reporting was not the case of Tanzania only but other media outlets in the world, saying the problem is stained by inadequate funds and enough investments for the development of the media outlets.
Meanwhile, researchers asked media houses to establish a policy aimed at helping journalists and editors improve in professionalism and ethics in their media reportages in the country.
The call comes as a result of a research they conducted, which indicated that quality of media reporting in the country is on the lower end with regard to professionalism, ethics and comprehensiveness.
Presenting the findings, a researcher from the University of Dar es Salaam, Mr Abdalla Katunzi said that having in place the policy will help journalists and editors to increase the ratio of stories originating from the media’s own initiative.
The policy will also lead the media houses into improving the comprehensiveness of their reportages, adding substance to the story as well as stabling the root causes of the issue at stake.
The research titled Yearbook on Media Quality in Tanzania 2018 shows that 36 per cent of the stories sampled had only one source in their stories. Journalists largely source their reports from official calendar on average of 66 per cent.
In regards to comprehensiveness, the performance level stood at 23 per cent, covering only the root cause of issues and only nine per cent provided the media audience with historical background.
According to the performance on understandability for the audience, it had good structure linking different parts of a story logically with stories covering 56 per cent.
On the matter of media ethics, the research shows that the share of stories that fails to allow the right to reply to the accused stands at 42 per cent. In terms of media overall performance, print media performance was high compared to radio and TV in most of the criteria.
According to the report, print media leads in the overall quality index with 37 per cent, followed by TV at 31 per cent and local stations with 31 per cent and national radio with only 24 per cent.