Introduction to Tanzania News Media
The media industry in Tanzania has gone through major phases. It saw the German colonial media to serve the selfish interest of the German administration. The editing task was undertaken by the missionaries of Tanzania. The British administration established a media to support their colonial regime and later the nationalists used the same to stir revolution for self-governance and respect for human rights. Media of Tanzania has been through several twists and turns over the years after its origination.
During the post-colonial period, the socialist regime of Tanzania aimed for an independent media- to curb opposition and foster the development of socialistic principles. Later, with the changing scenario of economics and politics of the world, there was a demand for changing the operations of the media industry.
During the economical and political reforms happening worldwide, private and independent media mushroomed in Tanzania.
Print media in Tanzania came out as a struggling industry throughout the last two years. Newspapers in Tanzania faced major setbacks including operations under grim political conditions that were made worse by the regressive laws. As a result, the readership of Newspapers in Tanzania declined exponentially and lack of advertisement prospects followed through.
All these underlying conditions threatened the very existence of print media in Tanzania for the past two years from 2017-19. The industry continued to be dominated by few handful proprietors, which is contradictory to the concept of media pluralism and its effects on a democracy. The Media Ownership Monitor (MOM) and Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) jointly conducted an investigative research which cemented the above-mentioned fact. It was found that print media in Tanzania is dominated by Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL), which is subsidiary of the Nation Media Group (NMG). It is the most dominant player of the print media in Tanzania . It is a public listed company whose majority shareholder is the Aga Khan Development Fund. It has its headquarters situated in Nairobi.
Other dominant proprietors includes IPP Media, New Hajari owned by Dr. Reginald Mengzi. There are some newspapers that are owned by political parties, for example Uhuru and Tanzania Daima. Uhuru is owned by the ruling party CCM and is run by Uhuru Media Group while Tanzania Daima is linked to the Chairman of Tanzania’s leading. opposition party, Chadema.
Government also directed all the media organizations to re-register their newspapers and magazines which proved to be harmful for the owners. However the owners were left with no choice than to re-register their newspapers. The newspapers which did not comply with the law were suspended and banned.
Currently, Citizen, Daily News, Habari Leo, Mwananchi, Mwanaspoti, IPP Millard Ayo, etc are some of the thriving and popular newspapers in Tanzania. Let’s read about them in details.
We have collated an elaborate list of newspapers and websites in Tanzania as separate categories. You can find the list in the blog under the below-mentioned sub-headings.
A. List of Newspapers and Websites in Tanzania
B. List of Sports Newspapers and Websites in Tanzania
C. List of Business Newspapers in Tanzania
A. List of Newspapers and Websites in Tanzania
Here is the complete list of newspapers and online websites in Tanzania that cover various domains of news including international & national news, business, politics, sports, entertainment, etc.
The Citizen is operated by a company named Mwananchi Communication Ltd, which is based out of Tanzania. The company manages several print media and radio including Sunday Citizen, Mwananchi Jumapili, and Mwanaspoti. Bakari Steven Machumu oversees the production as the Executive Editor of the company while the Managing Editor is Frank Santa.
The company was founded by Ambassador Ferdinand Ruhinda in May 1999. It was formed as Media Communications Ltd. but was later reshaped into Mwananchi Communications Ltd. Apart from English publications, the company also prints Kiswahili language newspaper Mwananchi.
Talking about The Citizen, the Tanzanian daily was launched in 2004. Currently, its readership is over 20,000 including several prominent decision makers, entrepreneurs, etc. The newspapers Is published from Monday to Sunday with content catering to the diverse requirements of its readers.
The Citizen is popular as an authoritative newspapers that delivers in-depth business and political news analysis. It circulates approximately 5,000 copies across Tanzania.
The Sunday edition of The Citizen comes by the name ‘The Citizen on Sunday’. Apart from this, the newspaper circulates Your Health magazine every Monday, Political Platform ever Wednesday, Success every Monday, The Beat every Friday, Business Week every Thursday and Woman every Saturday as its supplements.
The newspaper covers every segment of the news including Political, National, International, Sports, Business, Entertainment, etc. On the other hand, the online portal of The Citizen includes Entertainment, Sports, Business, Jobs, Video, etc as its major categories. Besides The Guardian, The Citizen is the one of the most popular print outlets in Tanzania that include socio-political news.
In March 2019, authorities in Tanzania imposed a seven-day ban on The Citizen. The Information Services Department, which oversees the newspaper licenses temporarily suspended the license of The Citizen citing that the newspapers published false, misleading and seditious stories.
Daily News is an English language newspaper based out of Tanzania, which is the second-largest economy in the East-African Community. It was started after the merger of two newspapers of Tanzanian print media; The Nationalist and The Standard.
The Standard was first published in January 1930 as Tanganyika Standard. It was started by the Kenyan East African Standard Limited. Later in 1967, it was taken over by a multinational London-Rhodesian Company (LONRHO). It was after the creation of Tanzania in 1964, the newspaper was renamed as The Standard. In 1970, The Standard was nationalised by the Tanzanian Government.
On the other hand, The Nationalist was started on 17 April 1964 when Tanzania came into existence. However, right from its beginning, it struggled to compete with The Standard which was a couple of decades old by then. To end the rivalry between two leading dailies of the country, the Tanganyikan African National Union (TANU), the ruling party decided to merge the newspapers forcefully.
The newspapers The Daily News was first published in April 1972 however, the company which publishes the newspaper retained its original name. The publication firm of The Daily News is still known as Tanzania Standard Limited.
The Daily News also has a Kiswahili sister paper known as Habari Leo. The Kiswahili version was established in 2007, however, it is in the tabloid form unlike The Daily News. On December 30, 2011 The Daily News announced a newly-designed website to increase its readership and keep them updated with the latest news on the go.
In May 2014, Gabriel Nderumaki was appointed as the Managing Editor of Tanzania Standard (Newspapers) Limited. Currently, The Daily News publishes a Sunday edition called Sunday News apart from Habari Leo. The sports edition Spoti Leo was also introduced in 2012. It is published every week on Mondays.
Some of the popular columnists of The Daily News include: Lawi Joel, Antony Tambwe, Tony Zakaria, Amby Lusekelo, Ali Mzige, Karl Lyimo, Jagjit Singh, Anne Outwater, Natasha K’okutangilira, Lusuga Kironde, and Makwaia wa Kuhenga.
Habari Leo is a Kiswahili newspaper published in Tanzania. It is a sister newspaper of popular English daily of Tanzania titled The Daily News. It is published by Tanzania Standard Newspapers Limited. Habari Leo came into existence in 2006.
It is owned by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania. The government holds 99% shares in the publication while the 1% resides in the hands of the Managing Editor. The President of the United Republic of Tanzania holds the position of the Editor-in-Chief of Habari Leo however, the Managing Editor remains the point of contact and the Chief Executive Officer of the daily.
The government owns Habari Leo since they believe that the government belong to the people and hence it is important for people to hear about their government from the government itself, as told by retired President Jakarta Kikwete. Another reason was the mushrooming of private newspapers and media disregulation. The main intention of Habari Leo was to propagate peace and harmony in the society.
Habari Leo covers majority of aspects of society including economics, politics, national and international affairs, advertising, etc. According to the Managing Editor, the advertising and market share of Habari Leo are 6.5 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.
Habari Leo is ranked fourth among news-focused publications.
Mwananchi is a Kiswahili newspaper that is published by Mwananchi Communications, which is one of the leading media conglomerates of Tanzania. Its Sunday edition Mwananchi Jumapili and the sports bi-weekly edition is known as Mwananspoti. The Mwananchi newspaper is registered with the Registrar of Newspaper in April 2000.
In May 2000, the first copy of the newspaper was published by the presses. Currently, the newspapers is published in the native Kiswahili language and is one of the leading newspapers of Tanzania, according to a GeoPoll Media Consumption Study that was conducted in 2018.
Mwananchi publishes stories and news around different subjects including national & international news, entertainment and sports. It also publishes magazines and pull-out magazines on diverse topics on different days of the week. Its sports magazine titled SpotiMikki is published every Monday and a business magazine named Uchumi is published every Thursday. The society issues are covered in Jungukuu magazine that is published every Friday while Starehe is another sports magazine that is published every Saturday.
Siasa focuses on political analysis of the current situations in Tanzania and also carries out investigative stories every Tuesday. Maarifa is a magazine for students and teachers and is published as a pull-out magazine every Wednesday.
The parent company Mwananchi Communications is responsible for publishing of other newspapers as well, including The Citizen, which is the most popular newspaper in Tanzania.
IPP Media is one of the biggest players of media in East Africa. Founded in 1999, it is a private company with its headquarters based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Total nine newspapers come under IPP Media which are published both in English and Kiswahili. These newspapers includes The Guardian, Sunday observer, Financial Times, This Day, Taifa letu, Nipashe, Majira, Lete raha.
IPP Media also owns three television stations namely ITV, EATV and Capital Television apart from three radio stations Radio One, Capital FM and East Africa Radio. Most of these TV and radio channels are consumed in Tanzania itself.
The media conglomerate provides content over web through its website www.ippmedia.com. Talking about its ownership, it was founded by Mr. Reginald Abraham Mengi. The IPP group was stated as a small scale ball point pen assembly plant in Dar es Salaam. As of now, it has expanded to become the largest industrial groups in East Africa.
IPP Media operates four core divisions like media, beverages, household and beauty care, minerals prospecting and mining. It also holds the franchise to manufacture for Coca Cola carbonated soft drinks. It is the sole importer and distributor of Carlsberg and Spirits.
IPP Media’s founder and CEO Reginald Abraham Mengi was featured in Forbes’ ranking of Africa’s richest people with fortune of more than $400 million in 2015.
Mwanaspoti is a sports newspaper printed by Mwananchi Communications which is one of the most prominent media conglomerates in East Africa. The newspaper is published in the native language of Kiswahili which covers sports and entertainment news. It was launched in February 2012 by the Mwananchi Communications that is also responsible for publishing other newspapers including The Citizen and Mwananchi. The newspaper was printed by contact until 2005. After 2005, the parent company acquired a second-hand printing press and began handling the publishing work itself.
Millard Ayo is owned by Ayo TV TZA Company Limited which is an online digital media firm founded and owned by Millard Afrael Ayo and Ivan Ayo. As per Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA), the company was issued a license for Online Content Services. The headquarters of Ayo TV TZA Company are based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Millard Ayo can be found in the form of a website and also a YouTube channel apart from Android and iOS application. They also maintain a functional Facebook page for the dissemination of news and content. They enjoy millions of followers on social media websites like Twitter and Instagram.
The major content broadcasted on its channels are general news, sports, health, education, politics, entertainment, etc. Apart from MillardAyo.com, the parent company also owns another channel called AYOTV. The owner Millard Ayo also works for Clouds Media as a Radio Presenter and hosts the show Count Down ever weekday in the morning.
Mpekuzi Huru is a Tanzanian website that covers entertainment, politics news, celebrity gossips and live updates. The Facebook handle of the online portal is around 10 years old. The website is aimed at covering majorly entertainment pieces and gossip stories around celebrities in Tanzania. The online platform also milks money with advertisements.
Mpekuzi Huru is owned by Mpekuaji Media which is founded by John Bernard MAhega and Hellen Elibariki Mcharo. MAhega also functions as the company’s Managing Director.
Bongo5 is an online portal that covers entertainment news in Tanzania. It was founded in 2006 by Luca Neghesti, aiming primarily at covering sports and entertainment news. The headquarters of the website are located in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The online portal also maintain a Facebook and Twitter channel with hundred thousands of followers. Nancy Sumati is the Managing Director of Bongo5.
MTanzania has been one of the oldest newspapers in Tanzania. It is read by majority of decision makers in the field of commerce, industry and government. The newspaper covers mainly politics, social issues, legislative news, economic and entertainment news. It is considered to be a family newspaper which is read by people of all age and economic status. MTanzania reaches all the 30 regions of Tanzania with about 148 districts on a regular basis.
MTanzania is ranked 3rd among the news-oriented newspapers in Tanzania. It was first published in 1995 with 20,000 copies. Owned by Habari Corporation Limited, it is now published by New Habari Limited.
New Habari Limited is owned by Hassan Haidari and Ghulam Abdulrasul. Former MP of the governing party CCM, Rostam Aziz is also said to be a major stakeholder in New Habari Limited. However, his name cannot be found on the list of shareholders of Isenegeja.
In 2013, MTanzania was banned for 3 months by the government for biased and emotional coverage of news.
Global Publishers is a private company of Tanzania that handles the weekly newspapers in Tanzania. Currently, the firm owns six newspapers including Amani, Championi, SpotiXtra, Ijumaa, Risasi and Uwazi. The firm states itself as the House of Favourite Newspapers. All the newspapers handled by this company are published in the native Kiswahili language. Apart from newspapers, Global Publishers also own a TV channel called Global TV Online. The company is owned by Joachim Lusama Buyobe, while the CEO of the company is Eric James Shigongo.
The firm handles newspapers which cover news articles related to politics, entertainment, celebrity gossips, short stories and sports. They are one of the most read newspapers in Tanzania.
Mwanahalisi Online is an internet portal that posts various news around international and national concerns. It has its own YouTube channel, Facebook page, Twitter handle as well as an Instagram profile. Recently, Mwanahalisi Online was banned by the Government of Tanzania for allegedly publishing seditious news. The tabloid was banned for two years. According to the official statement, Mwanahalisi published seditious news and failed to adhere to professionalism extended to the tabloid’s online publication. In 2012 as well, the government tried to ban Mwanahalisi. However, the editors knocked court’s door and the ban was deemed illegal.
Mzalendo is a non-partisan parliamentary monitoring website for Kenya. The term Mzalendo means ‘Patriot’ in Kiswahili, which is a local language spoken in Tanzania. The company received funding from the Omidyar Network in 2010, which helped in the renovation of the website. The website functions in the partnership with mySociety. The website includes scorecards for each MPs to access their performance, attendance and spending performance.
Zanzi News is an online portal in Tanzania published in the Kiswahili language. It covers various news on topics including health, business, religion, films, community, agriculture, national and international issues. Currently, it operates only on the online portal and doesn’t have its print newspaper.
Guardian newspapers are published by The Guardian Limited which is a part of the IPP group of companies. IPP Media has a significant place in the private sector in media. It is under the leadership of popular Tanzanian businessman and philanthropist Dr Reginald Abraham Mengi.
The Guardian Limited publishes two daily newspapers, The Gaurdian and Nipashe apart from four weeklies. The Guardian on Sunday and Nipashe Jumapili are Sunday publications. The English language newspapers of the group are for corporate customers while the Kiswahili newspapers are meant to target the larger public and age groups. Guardian prints variety of news pieces on topics ranging from politics, economy, sports, entertainment as well as national and international issues.
The sole mission of The Guardian is to collect and deliver the most credible news content to improve everyone as a society. They aim to become Africa’s most admired print media that puts a premium on employee and customer satisfaction.
ITV is a English and Swahili broadcasting channel headed by Joyce Mhaville. Though the country is a home to around 100 languages, but Swahili and English are the most spoken ones. ITV was founded in 1994 with initial broadcasting in five regions. Now, the coverage has been expanded to the whole country of over 45 million of population.
ITV is independent of the government and is privately owned by IPP Media, one of the most popular media companies in Tanzania. The headquarters of the company are based in Dar es Salaam. ITV is a popular digital media with its Facebook page having hundred thousands of followers. They also conduct a number of interviews and conferences on YouTue on a weekly basis.
Arusha Times is a local weekly newspaper that is published every Saturday, The headquarter of this newspaper is located in Arusha, as the name suggests. It covers only sports news of Tanzania.
Star TV is one of the leading channels in Tanzania. The headquarters of this channel are based in Mwanza, near Lake Victoria and it also has offices in Dar es Salaam. The online portal of the website covers various news on a number of topics ranging from national & international affair, sports, entertainment to business. The primary language they use for communication in Kiswahili.
Kajunason is a small-scaled online portal in Tanzania that covers news in Kiswahili. It publishes content on various topics including national news, international news, business, entertainment, sports and health. The website has been operating since 2007, covering local and international news. It also publishes celebrity interviews and any positive happenings of Tanzania. According to their online portal, Kajunason receives around 170,000 to 450,000 visitors per month from different parts of the world. It’s Facebook page has around 5000 followers while the Instagram enjoys 17,000 followers. Kajunason was also the first Tanzanian blogspotto distribute news via mobile phone.
Mjengwa Blog is a private blog handled by Maggie Mjengwa, who is one of the most popular independent journalists in Tanzania. The blog publishes only the investigative news blogs on its website. The site is regularly updated with opinion pieces and original content. It also receives comments from people on regular issues of the country.
Focus Media Pro Limited is a local production house in Tanzania founded by various professionals from media around the country. Their area of services range from documentary production, film production, video production, radio production, community radios, web development, interactive business CD, mini disc, business cards, brochures, flyers, to news articles.
B. Sports Newspapers in Tanzania
There are many newspapers in Tanzania that publish sports news and articles as well as opinion pieces on a regular basis. Some of these newspapers and magazines are:
As mentioned above as well, Mwanaspoti is an exclusive sports magazine that is published by the media group Mwanananchi Communications. It is printed in the native Swahili language with the headquarters based in Dar es Salaam.
Another such online portal is Tanzania sports that reports developement, news, stories about sports in Tanzania. It covers all types of regional and international sports. The sole aim of the website it to develop sports and raise the profile of the country in international sports arena through partnership with private sponsors.
C. Business Newspapers in Tanzania
For the exclusive readership that likes to read about corporate and business news, there are several dailies and magazines that cover business news exclusively. However, all the major newspapers in Tanzania have a separate section for business news including Daily News, The Citizen, Guardian, etc.
24. Corporate Digest
Corporate Digest is an online portal that covers various topics regarding business including Business Growth, Business Ideas, How to Start a Business, Business Oportunities, etc. They don’t have a physical newspaper as of now, but maintain an internet portal for their readers. The website is handled by John Mbalamwezi, going by his LinkedIn profile.
Tanzanian media is majorly controlled by the government agencies. Many media outlets and newspapers suffered from massive losses when the Tanzanian government asked them to re-register their newspapers. Newspapers in Tanzania just like the news channels and independent blogs, are suffering at the hands of the current oppressive regime. Websites like Reports Without Borders have defined the legislation to be ‘bulldozing’ the media with their draconian laws. Therefore, Tanzania has suffered exponentially in terms of press freedom index, that determines the state of media in countries across the globe. It is believed that the current regime is not very welcoming towards any kind of criticism which has led to many media outlets being shut down overnight while several suffering to keep their head above the water.
Currently, Tanzania is ranked at 118 in World Press Freedom Index, which has climbed up by 25 numbers since 2018. The global score has also fallen drastically in the past two years, speaking about the sorry state of affairs in Tanzania.
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