• Tanzania’s Mainstream News Media Engagement with National Development

      Macaulay, Fiona; Nkya, Ananilea W.
      This thesis examines the ways in which Tanzania’s media report news on development issues and what accounts for the way they report, guided by social constructionist philosophy and framing theory. In terms of how they report news, the thesis draws on primary data generated from: (1) an analysis of 10,371 news stories reported by 15 Tanzanian media outlets over the course of one month, noting the general types of preferred stories and the range of news sources relied upon (which tend to be government or elite sources and male); (2) an in-depth analysis of 36 newspapers’ front-page lead stories, looking not just at the presentation and framing of these stories, but also at the omissions and elisions, using interpretive content analysis. In order to explore why the Tanzanian media cover development issues the way they do, the thesis draws on another set of primary data: semi-structured, face-to-face interviews conducted with 76 media stakeholders, where editors, journalists and media owners reflect on the constraints and opportunities – media ownership, laws used to control media autonomy, financing and professional training – facing them as media professionals trying to report on topics linked to their country’s social, economic and political challenges. There is, to date, little literature that foregrounds the views and experiences of media professionals in Tanzania or, indeed, in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and it is to this literature that this thesis primarily contributes. It concludes that from the colonial period to the current day Tanzanian media has been a contested space in which different stakeholders have diverse views about the role and functioning of the media. If the media are to play a normative, watchdog role, holding government to account and thus contributing, indirectly, to national development, then the issues of ownership, legal constraints, training and financial capacity are key.