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Media Council of Tanzania Website
Editors from various media outlets have strongly opposed any attempt to weaken or dissolve the
independent media council operating for the last 18 years in the country
In a declaration endorsed at the end of a two day consultative summit meeting between the Media Council of Tanzania and Tanzania Editors Forum (TEF) held in Tanga on May 29 and 30, 2013 the editors said the Council has successfully played its role of ensuring self-regulation of the media.
The declaration also points out that Council has been instrumental in overseeing the training of journalists and ensuring they abide by professional ethics.
“We insist that the Council has fully met the objective for its establishment as it has also mediated complaints raised by the members of the public, government leaders and even the government itself”, the declaration states.
The editors pledged to stand by the Media Council of Tanzania and Tanzania Editors forum to fight for the continued existence of the Media Council so that it fulfills the role of serving the Tanzanian public.
They paid a special tribute to the Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Mathias Chikawe, for pledging the government position to ensure the safety of journalists and investigate when they are harmed.
They expressed disappointment to the Minister of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, Dr. Fennela Mukangara, for her speech delivered in National Assembly on May 20, 2013 in which she indicated the intention to snatch and curtail freedom of the press by introducing controlling mechanism of the media.
Opening the meeting on May 29,2013, the Minister Chikawe praised the roles played by the Media Council and the Tanzania editors Forum saying that they are very useful and important bodies.
Chikawe’s endorsement of the two bodies was negating the position of Kondoa South MP, Juma Nkamia that the Council and Forum were only benefiting individuals.
The Minister for Information, Dr. Mukangara on her side had indicated in her speech that the government was planning to table a bill in parliament to control the media.
Media practitioners and stakeholders are opposed to any attempt to establish a body that as they are enjoying self-regulation through the independent MCT.
During the meeting the some editors questioned the logic why should ethical lapses be criminalized and not cleared through mediation.
The meeting was closed by the Tanga Regional Commissioner, rtd Lieutenant Chiku Gallawa who also pledged to work closely with journalists and expressed support for media self-regulation.
She invited journalists to cover the region extensively to publicize its development potential to attract local and external investors.
This was the second consultative meeting between MCT and editors. The first was held in Morogoro last year.
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