REMEDY FOR TANZANIAN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM
By GOODLUCK Paul, University Of Dar es Salaam , Tanzania
Investigative Journalism entails the general essence of Journalism profession whereby it must center upon curiosity and scrutiny. Viewing Investigative Journalism in its own specific cage, it’s all about looking for in-depth to investigate a certain story that will ultimately uncover a certain hidden issue like corruption or anything that draws attention to social, political, economic or cultural trends, and here is where muckraking is also incorporated.
It ought to be admitted that, this isn’t an easy task for media professionals as it requires an extraordinary commitment, investment of time as a Journalist can take a month or a year and above, pursuing for a single story, it also requires money inter alia resources and above all, the professional stamina (perseverance).
The challenges shouldn’t bring fear but rather an enthusiasm to make it prevail in Tanzania because it is advantageous for bringing solutions to people’s problems, disclosing evil doings which have been costing people’s life and above all ‘the national development’. This thirsty has also attracted journalists inside and outside the country to seat together, meditate and discuss how to make the crooked avenue of Investigative journalism in Tanzania straight.
The base of this argumentation will refer the workshop of investigative journalism and Book launch of “African Muckraking- 75 years of investigative journalism from Africa” by ANYA SCHIFFRIN with GEORGE LUGALAMBI, launched on April 30, 2018, which was attended by senior and enthusiasts in investigative journalism from in and out of the country, at Serena, Hotel, in Dar es Salaam.
Before finding a way to make it vibrant in Tanzania, there should be a deep contemplation on the reasons for lagging behind and challenges encountering it. Violence, Legal pressure, financial constraints, Ethical paradox, Disunity among journalists, Strong hands of the editors are among the threats to investigative journalism in Tanzania mentioned by among few investigative journalists in Tanzania including Erick Kabendera, Salome Kitomari, and John Allan Namu from Kenya.
The best remedies seems to prevail in Journalists’ minds as they argues what will make it steady in Tanzania. ERICK KABENDERA, a long time journalist and the one who have done many investigative stories, argues that Journalists should be more pragmatic and they shouldn’t spend most of the time worrying about Legal paradox but rather worrying about how to fill the blank in storytelling. Kabendera adds that, the fear shouldn’t exist as one can appeal either in the East African Court of justice or in the African court of human and Peoples rights when injustice prevail.
SALOME KITOMARI, a long time investigative journalist argues that “Journalists should firstly observe ethics, critical eye and mind is needed, also investment of time and money are of paramount”. She admits that, Tanzanian media Laws are challenging and among them is that they are not providing room for ‘under cover’, here the remedy is to read them and understand them well as it’ll be the help in defense.
The voices of the young enthusiasts in investigative journalism are represented by DEBORAH LWILA a journalism student at the University of Dar es salaam who argues that the remedy is to build a culture of allowing our children to be inquisitive since childhood. This will help to build confidence in them.
HOICE TEMU who is working for Channel Ten adds that, media Organization should visit universities offering journalism and media related courses and organize investigative journalism workshops so that to build capacity and prepare competent Investigative journalists of the new generation
SAMMY AWAMI who is working for the BBC, and the one who have done various investigative stories in Tanzanian context, says that sometimes the issue is not money but the internal commitment for journalists themselves as individuals.
The fight to give life to investigative journalism in Tanzania, is of Paramount and requires the binding consensus among all journalists in the country, that is to say, there shouldn’t be disunity in the industry. The challenges of the battle field shouldn’t neither scare us nor make us stop but rather, they should broaden the scope of the strategies because the prevailing of Investigative journalism strengthens the public happiness.