CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Tanzania

Blog   |   Tanzania

Tanzania cuts live parliamentary coverage, ending vital news source for citizens

President John Magufuli, pictured after winning Tanzania's election last year. His party has halted the live coverage of parliament. (Reuters/Emmanuel Herman)

On April 19, the live coverage of proceedings in the Tanzanian parliament ended as a government decision to halt the service went into effect. The move, announced by Information Minister Nape Nnauye in January, has led to protests from the opposition party and journalists' groups, who said they view the decision to stop live broadcasts of parliamentary debates as tantamount to censorship.

Blog   |   Tanzania

Tanzania's press wait to see if new president will reform troubling media laws

Tanzania's new president, John Pombe Magufuli, right, and outgoing president, Jakaya Kikwete. Several of the country's journalists say they hope Magufuli will reform repressive press laws. (Reuters/Emmanuel Herman)

Elections in Tanzania passed smoothly in October, but several local journalists and a media lawyer told me the spectre of anti-press laws is casting a pall over critical reporting in the country and that hopes for legal reform under the newly elected President John Pombe Magufuli remain muted.

Blog   |   Burundi, Gambia, Somalia, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

A bid to rid Africa of criminal defamation, sedition laws

The African Union's special rapporteur on freedom of expression and access to information, Commissioner Pansy Tlakula, has launched an auspicious initiative in East Africa to counter criminal defamation and sedition laws. Since independence, authorities and business interests in the East and Horn region have used criminal laws on sedition, libel, and insult--often relics of former, colonial administrations--to silence their critics in the press. "Criminal defamation laws are nearly always used to punish legitimate criticism of powerful people, rather than protect the right to a reputation," Tlakula said in a statement.

Blog   |   Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda

Press freedom: Challenge of changing words into deeds

(Pan African Parliament)

The Pan African Parliament's (PAP) launch of a media freedom campaign through a "Dialogue on Media Freedom in Africa" in mid-May marks an important and welcome starting point. For too long, media freedom has been divorced from the debate around development and democratization when it has an integral role to play in promoting transparency, underpinning good governance, and enabling citizens to make informed decisions.

Blog   |   Tanzania

How to survive in Tanzania's press

There is one simple rule for survival in Tanzania's media - whether you are an editor, reporter, columnist, printer, or even news vendor: don't be critical. Thanks to repressive laws on Tanzania's books, an article considered libelous by the state can get anyone in trouble, even prominent journalists such as Absalom Kibanda -- the chairman of the Tanzania Editor's Forum and managing editor of the popular Swahili daily Tanzania Daima ("Tanzania Forever").

Blog   |   Tanzania

Government threatens press in pre-election Tanzania

Incumbent Tanzanian President Jakaya Kiketwe during rally in September. (AP)

As the October 31 national elections draw near, Tanzania's media is in a frenzy trying to cover the close race between the two leading presidential candidates. But government threats and draconian media laws may be getting in the way of objective coverage.

Social Media

View all »