🇹🇿 Can journalists report freely in Tanzania? | The Stream SUBSCRIBE: https://youtu.be/nE2uhv-ZCSw : Reporters in Tanzania have long had to be creative when covering sensitive matters on politics, government and the economy. But, according to press watchdogs, increasingly restrictive measures placed on media outlets in recent years have left journalism in Tanzania on life support – and undermined freedom of expression guaranteed under the country’s constitution.
The oppressive climate in Tanzania has only intensified since John Magufuli was elected president in 2015, rights groups say. Among a web of recent laws, the 2016 Media Services Act grants the government the ultimate say over which stories meet its definition of being in the ‘national interest’. Journalists say the act blocks stories that don’t toe the government line.
Journalists in Tanzania also face direct physical threats. In 2017 workers at Clouds FM in Dar es Salaam were threatened by regional commissioner Paul Makonda and a group of armed men who burst into their office and demanded that the network broadcast a video impugning a local pastor.
The East Africa Court of Justice recently ruled that the Media Services Act undermines human rights protocols in the East Africa Council treaty. So, as the government is condemned for human rights abuses and opposition politicians face arrest and attack, how can journalists in Tanzania ensure the public remain informed and engaged – especially when they are also the target of restrictive laws and direct threats? We’ll find out on Wednesday’s episode. Join the conversation.
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