Mapping study on the state of the newsroom in Tanzania

Studying the state of the newsroom is invaluable in understanding the media and the environment in which journalists work. Understanding the newsroom environment is essential because it not only helps people to grasp the realities within the country’s newsrooms but also, more significantly, how these realities have either a positive or negative bearing on media performance or the journalists’ work.

This report, the State of the Newsroom in Tanzania, offers an upstream view of the newsroom in the country. It looks at the newsroom environment and operations. Specifically, it looks at the newsroom staffing, revenue sources, specialisations, in-house training, quality assurance, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on newsroom operations.

Among the key findings of the study are:

  • Most newsrooms in Tanzania do not have legal departments despite the media being increasingly vulnerable to libel, slander and misinformation accusations.
  • Although the traditional revenue model, which is highly dependant in advertising, is dominant in the country, different media houses are experimenting with new revenue sources to address existing revenue gaps and strengthen newsroom viability.
  • Advertising revenue slumped during the pandemic, with the decline having knock-on effects. As consequence,
    media houses had to lay staff off, cut salaries, and furloughed staff.
  • An overwhelming majority of Tanzanian media managers and editors said expertise in audience/consumer research, leadership and team management are important for the 21st century newsroom leader.

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