Find Media and Broadcasting expertise in United Republic of Tanzania
- Print media
In 2013 there were more than 350 print media publications available in Tanzania including magazines and periodicals, as well as newspapers. The number of publications has increased significantly since the establishment of multi-party politics in 1992. The majority of these publications are privately owned, except for The Daily News which is run by Tanzania Standard Newspapers (TSN), and is the only government-owned newspaper available in the country. Liberal press laws that were introduced in the 2001 Media Bill on the mainland do not apply to press freedom in Zanzibar. As a result, private media publications are not produced locally in Zanzibar, but the islands do receive several of the daily and weekly publications produced on the mainland.
The constitution of Tanzania provides for freedom of speech, but laws to protect subject matter that the government deems to be classified or of a sensitive nature remain. The government also retains the right to close down a publication if such action is deemed necessary for “peace and good order”, as part of the 1976 Newspaper Registration Act. There is continuing discussion in the law courts as to whether such a course of action is constitutional.
All of Tanzania’s publications are funded from unit sales and advertising, making print media the largest advertising medium in the country. The two main languages used in print media and publishing are Swahili and English.
The private mass media in Tanzania underwent rapid growth in the mid 1990s due to the liberalisation of press freedoms. As a result, there are now a wide variety of public and private publications and independent radio stations operating in the country. Having not been introduced until 2001, television, by comparison, has not proliferated to the same extent; with the three main state-owned channels having dominated the medium for more than ten years. However, the 2013 switch over to a country-wide digital signal has provided the platform for a much more diverse television service and took place a full two years ahead of the ITU’s (International Telecommunication Union) 2015 deadline.