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MCT works with gov’t, Mukajanga tells US diplomat

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 15:09
The Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) is pursuing a non confrontational approach and works closely with the government, the Executive Secretary of the Council, Kajubi Mukajanga, said on May 30, 2012.
Briefing the Public Affairs Officer of the Embassy of the United States of America in Tanzania, Dana Banks, on the Council’s activities, Mukajanga said MCT is taking this approach as it is pointless to be confrontational as long as it does not yield positive results.
Mukajanga narrated to the US embassy official on May 30, 2012 the historical background of the Council which began to operate in earnest in 1997.
The Council was established by media stakeholders in 1995 as pre-emptive measure to stem the government’s initiative to set a statutory body to rein in errant by media outlets which mushroomed after policy liberalization in early 90’s and committed many transgressions; Mukajanga told the US official who paid a courtesy call on MCT offices.
During the encounter, Mukajanga also clarified on the Council’s position as regards to the new concept of citizen journalism or social media.
Responding to a question by Ms Banks on how the Council’s relates to the emerging development of social media, Mukajanga said the Council is trying to see how it connects with the new development.
“It is scary as most of players in social media are young  people who are always in hurry “, he said adding the best way is to try to connect with them and enlighten them on  best practices in news dissemination.
Ms Banks on her part said that the new development is unavoidable,  citing the changes they ushered in elsewhere.
The Council’s Regulation and Standards Manager,  Pili  Mtambalike, elaborated the Council’s role pointing out that it has  an ethics and arbitration committee which handles  complaints against the media through mediation.
She also said the Council conducts research, has produced professional code of conduct, publishes training manuals on a various media topics and several publications on media issues including two newsletters Media Watch and Barazani as well as  a professional journal  Scribes.
She also spoke of the Council’s campaign to have new legislations on Right to Information and media services
Banks pledged the US embassy’s readiness to support the Council’s activities and offered to provide publications for its Information Resource Centre.

How does a media Council work with Government? This is a million dollar question. The reader may wish to comment, taking into account circumstances in which MCT wa fought for and won; and principles of an independent, voluntary and non-statutory institutions.

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