[FoME] Media Quality assessment for Tanzania now online

Spurk Christoph (skcp) skcp at zhaw.ch
Mi Apr 17 15:02:04 CEST 2019

Dear Colleagues,

The nationwide assessment on media reporting quality in Africa has not been given much attention. Very few content-analysis studies have touched on this subject. Tanzania, located in East Africa, is one of the few countries in the continent whose media reporting quality has been systematically assessed using specific quality criteria agreed upon by editors, reporters, bloggers and media stakeholders. The 11 quality criteria were grouped into four categories namely professionalism, comprehensiveness, understandibility and ethics.
The 2018 Yearbook on Media Quality in Tanzania was produced jointly by Spurk Media Consulting Ltd., and the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT), with the support from the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) in Tanzania.

The study analysed a randomized sample of almost 1'900 journalistic units from 25 media houses on Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar: 7 newspapers, 5 national radio stations, 7 local radio stations, 3 national TV stations, 1 online TV, 1 blog and 1 online forum.

The findings show that the quality of media reporting in the country is on the lower end in most observed quality indicators. With regard to professionalism, more than one third (36%) of all the sampled units have only one source. Additionally, journalists largely source their reports from the official calendar (60%), and not by their own initiative. Regarding comprehensiveness, the performance level is also low. On average, only 23% of all units cover the root causes of events or issues, and 9% provide the media audience with historical background. The study further established that very few media reports are critical of the government. It is only JamiiForums - a leading online forum in Tanzania - that shows a considerable amount of critical viewpoints (35%), followed by local radio stations and print with much less, i.e. only 4% of units.

The study has produced the first ever performance index that shows the ranking of media houses involved. One of the most salient results was that local radio stations performed better than national radios. Under the best five media houses in 2018 were two local radio stations.  Additionally, the study has generated performance sheets for individual media houses involved in which the performance in each criterion is compared to the average and highest performer.

The results of the Media Quality Yearbook serve as a mirror and training needs assessment tool for media houses which need to focus particularly on areas where their performance is not good or below average.

All reports (Overall results, special print, radio, and TV report) can be downloaded from https://yearbook.mct.or.tz. For those who like to get a quick overview, the website https://yearbook.mct.or.tz offers information on the methodology, quality criteria, sampling procedures, the summarizing quality index, and all the major results for print, radio and TV.

With kind regards
Any feedback is highly appreciated
Christoph Spurk

Spurk Media Consulting Ltd.
Christoph Spurk
c/o Dr. Guido Keel
Jonas-Furrer-Strasse 100
8401 Winterthur
christoph.spurk at gmail.com<mailto:christoph.spurk at gmail.com>
mob: +41-79-214 6877
mob: +49-151-200 17106
landline: +49 69 9550 7381

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