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ZA KISWAHILI

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Resource Centre

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Press Clippings

Media Council of Tanzania Website

kageramkajangaThe media has been cautioned against irresponsible reporting and urged to adhere to professional code of ethics.

The appeal was made by the Executive Secretary of the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT), Kajubi Mukajanga, after a report based on rumors broadcast on December 10,2012 by Kasibante Fm Radio that a woman witch in Kashai locality within Bukoba Municipality had abducted children and hide them in her house created havoc in the town.

 

Angry mobs surrounded and pelted the house with stones forcing the woman to run into hiding. The crisis lasted for two days.

Mukajanga accompanied by the Council’s Ethics and Arbitration Manager, Alan Lawa had travelled on December 19, 2012 to the Municipality to investigate. They were joined by Executive Secretary of Kagera Press Club Phinias Bashaya and Executive Committee member Method Karikila.

After picking bits and pieces from what transpired, the team was unanimous that the Radio station had flouted professional ethics in running the story.

In the investigation the team met with the Kasibante Fm Radio management, Bukoba district authorities including the District Commissioner – Zipora Pangani and visited the targeted house.

After a lengthy discussion, Kasibante Fm Radio management conceded to have mishandled the story which was based on a children custody row.

They promised to run apologies for causing the chaos and also harm to the alleged woman witch.

A serious omission by the Kisabante Fm radio station was to deny the right of reply to the purported woman witch who happened to be a long serving teacher.

Mukajanga in his remarks recalled the perils of irresponsible reporting that led to genocide in Rwanda and the post elections killings of thousands in neigbhouring Kenya.

Insisting the importance of community radio as they were close to the audience as opposed to national channels, Mukajanga  called them to be ethical, failure of which would plunge the communities they serve and the nation at large into chaos.

Underlining that the future of the broadcasting in Tanzania lies in the hands of community radios, he said the stations always to think of the best interests of their audiences before any broadcast.

“Put people’s interests above everything”, Mukajanga stressed.

The Bukoba District Comissioner Pangani, appreciated the swift action of the MCT to investigate the matter which had disrupted peace in the area.

end

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