Monday, September 15, 2014

TMF awards final grantees for rural coverage

In a move to develop investigative reporting on rural issues in the country, Tanzania Media Fund (TMF) has contracted its final batch of institutional grantees after a competitive grants selection process through which 16 media houses out of 71 which applied have qualified for financial and capacity building support. These are Alkemist Media (Dar es Salaam), CG FM Radio (Tabora), Daraja Development (Njombe), Jamhuri media Ltd (Dar es Salaam), kahama FM stereo Radio (Kahama), Kigoma Press Club (Kigoma), Radio Kitulo FM (Makete), Local Media Entertainment (Dar es Salaam), Mbeya Highlands FM (Mbeya) and Pesa Time (Blog). Others are Radio Habari njema FM (Manyara), Standard Radio Voices Ltd (Singida), 94.8 Sunrise FM Radio (Arusha), Super Brains Media Ltd (Dar es Salaam), Upendo FM Radio (Dar es Salaam) and Zanzibar Broadcasting Corporation (Zanzibar). Speaking to journalists on Saturday last week in Dar es Salaam, TMF Director Ernest Sungura said that, a total of Sh. 1.7 billion will be disbursed in different rates to winning media houses by his organisation any time from now. He noted that, the maximum rate of amount to be paid stands at Sh. 185 million, while the minimum is Sh. 50 million. These will to enable them conduct training as well as carrying out  investigative reporting news focusing on rural issues up to end of April 2015. He clarified that, the fund is from the previous transaction of $ 10.6 which was last donated by four European countries namely, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Denmark and Ireland between June 2012 and May 2015. 

Tanzania Media Fund (TMF) Director Ernest Sungura 

The selected media houses brings the total number of media institutions which have so far received support from the Fund since  its inception in 2008 to more than 100 when the donors contributed a total of $ 7.1 million from June 2008 and May 2012. The TMF Director warned them against misappropriation of the funds to be given to them as the Fund organization has employed internal and external auditors to verify and ascertain proper accounting transaction records of their use. This was after the selected media houses accomplished all the formalities and basic procedures for their signing contracts to which have been directed to abide by the rules that governed their contracts. Speaking in an interview with this paper, the Managing Director of the Jamhuri Media Ltd, publishers of a weekly investigative Jamhuri tabloid, Deodatus Balile said that, it is high time for the media industry in Tanzania to focus more on rural coverage. Balile whose media company is among the beneficiaries has thanked the TMF organization for their continued support they do to upgrade media fraternity in the country. A representative of Radio FM Upendo based in Dar es Salaam, Paul Mhamba said that, electronic media should concentrate more on rural coverage where the majority Tanzanians live as the media is a watch dog of the most issues of the marginalized groups. Mhamba who works as a Marketing Manager for the station is proud as this is the third time his company which owns a radio station and a newspaper to have emerged a winning media house to become a beneficiary of TMF Fund that enables them to carry out investigative rural news coverage.

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