Tanzania: Mass media

Extracted from: Grant Masterson 2009 "Chapter 13: Tanzania and Zanzibar" IN Denis Kadima and Susan Booysen (eds) Compendium of Elections in Southern Africa 1989-2009: 20 Years of Multiparty Democracy, EISA, Johannesburg, 520-521.

In the early 1990s, the private mass media in Tanzania proliferated rapidly with the liberalisation of press freedoms, to the extent that mainland Tanzanians are now today offered a wide variety of public and private publications and radio stations. TV is still relatively under-developed in Tanzania, with the state television dominant throughout the country. In contrast, liberal press laws that were enshrined in the 2001 Media Bill on the mainland do not apply to press freedom in Zanzibar, and as a consequence private media publications are not produced locally in Zanzibar. The islands do however receive several of the daily and weekly publications produced on the mainland. Media in Zanzibar is therefore heavily dominated by the state. In terms of media access, radio is the most influential news medium, due to its relative cost and wide coverage. Television coverage tends to be restricted to urban areas and those rural areas that have a regular supply of electricity. The media publishes content in Swahili and English (EISA 2005, 14).

Public and private media organisations in Tanzania/Zanzibar

The press (BBC 2008):

  • Daily News - government-owned, Tanzania's oldest newspaper
  • Habari Leo - from publisher of Daily News
  • Uhuru - Swahili
  • The Guardian - private
  • Tanzania Daima - private, Swahili
  • Daily Mail - private
  • Nipashe - private, in Swahili
  • Alasiri - private, in Swahili
  • Business Times - private weekly
  • The Express - private weekly
  • Arusha Times - private weekly

News agency (BBC 2008):

  • Press Services Tanzania /li>

Television (BBC 2008):

  • Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) - state-run
  • Independent Television (ITV) - widely-watched private network, owned by IPP group
  • Dar es Salaam Television (DTV) - private network operated by Africa Media Group
  • Coastal Television Network (CTN) - private, Dar es Salaam
  • Star TV - private
  • TV Zanzibar - state-run

Radio (BBC 2008):

  • Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) - state-run
  • Parapanda Radio Tanzania (PRT) - state-run FM station set up to counter competition for younger listeners from private stations
  • Radio Free Africa - private FM network
  • Radio One - private, owned by IPP group
  • Radio Uhuru - private, in Dar es Salaam and other cities
  • Kiss FM - private, in Dar es Salaam and other cities
  • Clouds FM - private, in Dar es Salaam and other cities
  • Orkonerei Radio Service (ORS) - community, operated by non-governmental agency
  • Voice of Tanzania-Zanzibar - state-run radio on Zanzibar

News websites

Arusha Times, [www] http://www.arushatimes.co.tz [English; opens new window] (accessed 30 Mar 2010).

Daily News, [www] http://www.dailynews-tsn.com/ [English; opens new window] (accessed 30 Mar 2010).

Tanserve, [www] http://www.tanserve.com/news/[English; opens new window] (accessed 30 Mar 2010).


BBC 2008 "Media Profile", [www] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/1072330.stm [opens new window] (accessed 30 Mar 2010).

EISA 2005 Tanzania Presidential, National Assembly and Local Government Elections [PDF document], EISA Election Observer Mission Report No 20 December.