Saturday, October 18, 2014
Media urged to use knowledge fight international terror groups
FINALISTS of CNN Multi-Choice African Journalists awards for 2014 yesterday gathered at Kunduchi Beach Resort Hotel north of Dar es Salaam city to deliberate various issues affecting media coverage in African continent. Among the most crucial issues that took the centre stage of discussion included how mainstream media coverage feed or fight international terror groups in the continent which has caused fear among the people in some parts of Africa region. The finalists from 18 different African countries Tanzania included are in the country since Tuesday this week ready to attend a prestigious ceremonial occasion to honor their media achievements scheduled to be held today at Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam starting as from at 19:00 in the evening. Among the five panelists who conducted discussion on the high table was the Managing Editor of the daily Citizen newspaper, Richard Mgamba who noted that, investigating issues related to terrorism needs care and braveness among journalists bearing in mind the fact that, such malpractices are secretly conducted. In his speech, Mgamba stressed the need of objectivity while doing coverage on such dangerous incidences and remarked that, mere use of tax payers’ money would not help stop the malpractice and what is required in this case is to acquire enough knowledge to curb terrorism. However, he has cautioned media practitioners to be careful and shouldn’t despair as a matter of killing the stories as doing so would be creating more problems rather than helping reduce the phenomenon. Another panelist, a Nigerian based editor of the daily Guardian newspaper Martins Oloja, talked on how the Nigerian government is making efforts over the fight against a notorious ‘Boko Haram’ terrorist group and the losses the group has caused to the nation. He said that, the group continues to make havocs in some parts in Nigeria due to its larger network which the Nigerian government has failed to control, possibly due to insufficient security link up with the insurgencies.
On her part, Suaoma Negumba, a TV News Editor of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation said that, her country is free of terrorism and other forms of mischief which threaten people’s life. However, she noted that, in order to curb with terrorism journalists must be courageous enough. CNN International Senior Vice-President based in Atlanta USA, Deborah Rayner in her presentation was somehow upset and described the work of journalism as being dangerous and urged practitioners to be brave enough while doing such coverage. She noted that, fearful stories related with kidnapping, terrorism happening in some African countries needs joint concerted efforts to minimize the escalating habit. Earlier on his opening remarks, the a veteran journalist and a well-respected senior lecturer of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Dar es Salaam Dr. Ayoub Rioba said that, investigative journalism in Tanzania is experienced with lots of challenges and practitioners gets a number of difficulties to go through. He mentioned most common reasons as lack of enough experience to journalists, threats, policies introduced by media houses, conflict of interest, and less confidence shown by journalists as among the factors which retards the development of investigative journalism in Tanzania. He said in an exclusive interview that among others, lack of free access to information from the government is an exacerbating factor. However, he noted that unless the media laws are reviewed otherwise the trend would keep on as usual. However, he has thanked President Jakaya Kikwete for his ambition when he announced that in November this year, he would make sure that, the Minister for Information Dr. Fennela Mukandara presents the media bill to be tabled in Parliament.