Dar es Salaam - On 16 March 2021, Tanzania Media Foundation (TMF) commenced training and coaching sessions under its media viability consultancy programme, which is being run with funding from DW Akademie. The sessions, which are being conducted online, will run from 16 March until 13 April 2021 and for now are only open to 12 participants, who were selected from 46 applications received in November 2020 in response to TMF’s call for applications for its media viability consultancy programme.
The media viability consultancy programme was developed by TMF and DW Akademie through a series of consultative meetings and activities held between October 2019 and February 2020. The programme involves promoting broader understanding and application of the media viability concept to media development in Tanzania through training, coaching, mentoring and other forms of media sector capacity building as well as through media sector research.
“The media viability consultancy programme is a first of its kind. It is important because of its two-fold focus. First, it will enable more people - that is the consultants - to understand and discuss media viability as a concept, which is an important step towards increasing its effective application to improving media sector performance. Second, consultants will be linked to 10 small to medium size media businesses to work with them to resolve barriers to the production of high quality public interest journalism at these media outlets,” said TMF Interim Executive Director, Fausta Musokwa.
She congratulated the 12 participants, who TMF selected because of their experience and expertise as well as the desire to be part of efforts to generate media sector solutions and so contribute to access to information and freedom of experience, particularly in underserved communities.
The participants include Albert Mkongwa and Malega Williams Kalembire, whose backgrounds are in finance and business. Others are Baraka Kiranga, who worked with TMF between 2017 and 2018 and Sebastian Marondo, whose backgrounds are in technology and innovation. The remaining eight participants Faraja Mgwabati, Michael Baruti, Esther Mngodo, Said Mkabakuli, Hatibu Madudu, Rehema Muniko, Said Mmanga and Edda Duncan all have media sector knowledge and experience along with expertise in development, banking and communication.
After the first cohort of consultants are certified, TMF expects to review and evaluate the effectiveness of the sessions in promoting media viability before making them publicly and broadly available.
Said Mkabakuli, who is a marketing and corporate affairs manager at TIB Development Bank, says he has great expectations of the programme.
“I anticipate that the training will enhance my capacity to assist small and medium sized media outlets, specifically on media business and financial strategy and human resource management for the media. I intend to ensure small and medium sized media outlets become bankable and that as a result they will be able to report without advertisers’ influence.”
Participants in the programme will cover modules in legal and political landscape, human resource management, technology and innovation, media business and financial strategy and media content production before being assigned to work with selected small to medium sized radio stations.
Rehema Muniko, an assistant lecturer at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication of the University of Dar es salaam (UDSM-SJMC), explains how she envisions the validity of the programme.
“ So far the training has enlightened my understanding of what kind of consultant I am, or which part in the consultant spectrum I should take in various situations, whether to be [a provider of] an expert service or expert support. I will share this knowledge with students at the University of Dar es Salaam School of Journalism and Mass Communication so that they become aware of how community media operates, and actually provide them with real time experience which I will acquire from the practical sessions of the media viability training. But above all, I will equip Mlimani Media, as a community radio with the needed skills or capacity so as to move steps ahead.”
Saidi Mohamed Mmanga, an experienced journalist and recently the station manager at Uyui FM radio in Tabora, explains the need to share knowledge with those who won’t have the opportunity to attend TMF’s media viability consultancy programme.
“I'm going to share the knowledge and skills from this training with media staff from small and medium radio stations in order to have sustainable quality journalism to solve different issues facing the media industry in Tanzania especially in the content aspect.”
The programme’s coaching and training will be guided by a curriculum developed by TMF with University of Dar es Salaam mass communications and journalism lecturer Dr. Paul Dotto Kuhenga and conducted by sector experts such as Wenceslaus Mushi, Valerie Msoka, Noelah Ntukamazina, Jumanne Mtambalike and Joel Nanauka.