Strengthening cooperation between Mlimani Radio (Tanzania) and Siren FM (UK) in support of journalism training at the University of Dar-es-Salaam
A research summary report of the African Media Development Initiative (AMDI)14, indicates that literacy rates for urban areas of Tanzania average 35.4% and that the country has some of the lowest rates of access to Television and Newspaper based media across sub-Saharan Africa, with only 34% watching TV and 31% reading a newspaper at least once a week. The AMDI report also highlights low levels of professional, ethical, management and technical standards among media practitioners, which is attributed to: insufficient or poor-quality training institutions; rapid expansion of media outlets (further straining resources); low salaries and status (with the resulting prevalence of "bribery based / brown envelope" journalism); and a skills exodus. Tanzania is also shown to have one of the lowest number of University media/journalism training courses and a very low penetration of internet users and mobile subscribers. Future priorities suggested by AMDI include: support for the development of a local production skills base, creating a body of content focused on social and development issues, and addressing the lack of audience research and monitoring.
This project seeks to address the issue by ‘strengthening cooperation between Siren-FM (a Community Radio Station supported and hosted by the University of Lincoln in the UK) with Mlimani Radio (hosted by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Dar-es-Salaam). Along with equipment for hands-on training of community journalists, there will be a series of activities aimed at improving the professionalism and quality of community radio education at the University of Dar-es-Salaam including: staff exchanges and professional production training.