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Between professional ideals and harsh reality: A case study of health journalism and reporting in three Tanzanian daily newspapers
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In Tanzania development has been on the agenda for a long time and one of the steps that has been taken to try to affect change is through communication and information. Under the first president of Tanzania, Julius Nyere, the media was monopolized and utilized as a tool for the government to push its agenda for development. Today, however, the media looks a bit differ-ent from the time of Nyerere, with a majority of privately owned media. Despite the focus on development the situation in public health is still poor, with both communicable diseases (i.e. HIV/AIDS and malaria) and non-communicable diseases (i.e. cancer and diabetes) claiming a lot of premature deaths.

This thesis is a minor field study, financed by a scholarship from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). Its purpose is to examine the professional ideals of Tanzanian journalism today when it comes to health reporting and the development in public health. To fulfil this purpose interviews were conducted with journalists at three Anglophone daily newspapers (Daily News, The Citizen and The Guardian) in the economic capital, Dar es Salaam. Initially a quantitative content analysis was conducted. How the journalists feel that they can live up to their ideals and what obstacles they see in doing so was also examined.

The study showed that the journalists want to contribute to the development, but that their ideals in how to do so differ. The most prevalent ideal was that the media should work to in­form and to educate the public. At the government owned newspaper, Daily News, the united front of the media and the government lived on. They felt responsible to stick to the govern­ment agenda. However, they also expressed that they felt responsible towards the ordinary people. The journalists felt that they could not live up to their ideals, especially the ideal of being the voice of the voiceless, because of the economic situation of the newspaper. The economic situation also affected the privately owned newspapers. The more active role of watchdog was more prevalent at these newspapers but was rarely practiced due to lack of resources. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 57 p.
Keyword [en]
Dar es Salaam, development journalism, health reporting, journalism studies, minor field study, professional role
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-24514OAI: diva2:743767
External cooperation
School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Dar es Salaam
Subject / course
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Minor Field Study (Sida)
Available from: 2014-09-05 Created: 2014-09-05 Last updated: 2014-09-05Bibliographically approved

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