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The Implications of the Chequebook Journalism and Envelope Journalism to the Effectiveness of Media reporting.: " in Tanzania"
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media, Media and Communication Studies. Uppsala University. (Media Reporting)
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
The Implications Of Chequebook Journalism And Envelope Journalism. : To the Effectiveness of Media Reporting in Tanzania "kinondoni district" (English)
Abstract [en]

The United Republic of Tanzania was formed on 26 April 1964 by the union of Tanganyika and the insular state of Zanzibar, comprising the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. Today’s Tanzania is a key East Africa country, with a multiparty political system, and a well-developed civil society. It is the region’s largest country in terms of both land size and population, and major regional economic power.

On 31st of October 2010, Tanzania held its fourth general elections since the re-introduction of the multi-party system in 1992. The famous ruling party is Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), won both the Union and the Zanzibar presidents, and maintained its comfortable control of the National Assembly and of the Zanzibar House of Representatives.

Though the development of news reporting has historically been central to conceptions of journalism in the many developing countries, studies on professionalism in developing countries are rare. In this con­nec­tion, academic research has largely overlooked the truth relating to the subject of professionalism in journalism in Africa, including in Tanzania. For instance, there are hardly any studies of the phenomena of chequebook journalism and envelope journalism, which are conspicuously wide­spread in African countries. In the cases of both chequebook journalism and envelope journalism, we refer to phenomena, where journalists accept payments from different news sources, in order to give them (preference in) coverage. Invariably, there is a commodification of the journalist services vis á vis the coverage of news from different sources.

A few existing studies have used directories from the East African countries. However, they face the face the caveat of little effort being made to adjust them the realities of the African setting. To address this challenge, this study – which focuses on journalistic professionalism in Tanzania - addresses the phenomena by using different approach of literature reviews: incorporating structural functionalism, journalism ethics, and normative models of development or advancing media. Specifically, it indicates cognitive differences in terms of how journalists in Tanzania perceive and experience chequebook journalism and envelope journalism.

The data, which were used in the study, were collected using documents review, interviews, and focus group discussions (FGD). Accordingly, the instruments used to collect data included both structured and unstructured questionnaires.

The findings indicate that Tanzanian journalists revere chequebook journalism and envelope journalism, and the practice has reached unprecedented levels in the country. The main reason for this is socio-economic: journalists getting low salary make them more vulnerable and therefore motivated to accept payments from news sources. The problem of supplementing their incomes through this disputed practice has, however, unfavorably affected journalist’s objectivity and professionalism. Additionally, development news reporting which seldom offers envelope journalism is being avoided. One alarming result is a shift from a traditional model of journalism, where journalists strive to report any legitimate news, to a public relations model, where news is heavily influenced by source and amount of payments. These results suggest that the public may be short-changed on its informational needs by being fed tactfully structured elitist news. Given the media's role in the development process, this may adversely affect development in the developing countries like Tanzania.


Keywords: Envelope Journalism, Ethics, Professionalism, Journalism, Journalist, and Chequebook Journalism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 76 p.
Keyword [en]
Chequebook Journalism, Envelope Journalism, Journalism, Journalist, Professionalism, Ethics.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-258713OAI: diva2:842311
Subject / course
Media and Communication Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in Social Sciences
2015-06-01, B331, Ekonomikum, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Kinondoni District, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Available from: 2015-07-27 Created: 2015-07-18 Last updated: 2015-07-27Bibliographically approved

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