The recently published and launched Yearbook on Media Quality Report in Tanzania for the year 2018 indicate that local radios’ performance outweighs that of national radios in many quality indicators.
Notably, among the local radios that excelled in the research is Pangani FM, one of the UNESCO supported community radios, whose rank was 8 out of the 25 media institutions, including the largest media houses in the country.
Conducted by Spurk Media Consulting Ltd., Switzerland in collaboration with researchers of University Dar es Salaam between September and December 2017, the research analyzed a sample of 25 media outlets comprising of print, national radio, local radio, TV and blogs/forums applying specific quality criteria, which were developed by key media stakeholders in Tanzania.
Criteria used include: Professionalism (use of multiple sources and coverage of topics beyond official calendar of events); Comprehensiveness (presence of perspectives in a media piece, root-causes and historical background); Understand-ability (quality of reporting structure and ability to contextualize figures); and Ethics (right to reply conceded to the accused).
A total of 1,886 journalistic units were analyzed from Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.
Pangani FM is run by UZIKWASA, a local NGO that engages rural communities to find their own solutions to social problems through empowerment and committed leadership.
The station is a key tool in UZIKWASA’s media campaigns that assist Pangani leaders to address problems identified by communities themselves—from oppressive gender norms, sexual violence to rights of education and poor leadership.
Being part of UZIKWASA’s community interventions, journalists at the station have continuous access to highly relevant content from local communities.
Through interactive programs, the radio engages people in an ongoing dialogue on social issues. This is reflected through a very active community participation through calls and SMS to the station.
Pangani FM has won community trust where they are eager to volunteer to provide information enabling multiple and diverse sources on an issue of concern.
Other UNESCO supported community radios that excelled in the report were Micheweni FM in Pemba and Dodoma FM.