The Content with Transformation grant is a unique to TMF grant product. It is a continuation of the former TMF Transformation grant, which was introduced in 2013 as a response to TMF’s observation that generation of quality content on its own was often not sustainable after the organisation’s funding ended. It aims to lead to the production of sustainable quality content, taking into consideration the need for economic as well as journalistic independence. Before media can become an effective player for development, it must be developed itself. Sound marketing and business strategies and effective governance and management are closely interlinked with the production of quality content.
For 2017, TMF has identified six grantees to work with for 15 months, beginning in June. These grantees include Hali Halisi Publishers and Jamhuri Media, both investigative journalism newspapers based in Dar es Salaam and owned and run by journalists. The other four are radio stations - Ebony Entertainment (Iringa), CG FM (Tabora), Standard Voice (Singida) and Kili FM (Moshi).
Hali Halisi Publishers (Dar es Salaam):
Hali Halisi Publishers Limited (HHPL) was established and incorporated as a company limited by shares on 3rd January 2005. Originally, the company published MwanaHALISI and Mseto newspapers, with the former specialising in hard news and the latter in sports news. In 2014 a new product called MwanaHALISI Online was introduced, which the company reports was visited by 943,658 active users between January and December 2016. Hali Halisi focuses on investigative journalism content. In June 2012 MwanaHALISI was banned by government; however, in September 2015 it resumed operations after the ban was successfully challenged in the court of law.
Mseto newspaper was similarly banned early in 2016 but HHPL has filed a law suit in the court of law as a strategy to revive it. Under TMF’s Content with Transformation grant, HHPL is interested in transforming itself into a modern multimedia based media operator acting as a champion of domestic accountability through quality journalism focused on the government, parliament and the judiciary. Amongst other things, the paper intends to partner with community radios to generate public debate and discussion all the way down to the grassroots.
Jamhuri Media Limited (Dar es Salaam):
Jamhuri Media Ltd was founded in 2010 by four media professionals who wanted to form an independent media house. The company prints Jamhuri newspaper, a Kiswahili weekly with an investigative journalism orientation. Over the past seven years in business, the company has experienced a number of challenges including high staff turnover and decreasing advertising from government and non-governmental institutions.
Jamhuri will work with TMF to strengthen its IJ capacity as well as stabilise its advertising department and reorient itself to operate more effectively within what is a rapidly changing media environment.
The Standard Voice Ltd (Singida):
Standard Voice Radio began its operations in Singida in 2011. It focuses on educating, entertaining and informing Singida and surrounding areas with development oriented content. Its vision is to provide comprehensive, balanced and objective coverage of issues at local, regional, national and international levels. The content with transformation grant is expected to transform Standard Radio FM into a media house that is able to stand on its own feet through providing quality investigative and public interest journalism (PIJ). Thematically, Standard Voice is interested in focussing on reporting on education, health and agriculture to ensure rich content and analytical news.
Radio Kili FM (Moshi):
Established in January, 2003, the station was one of the first privately owned media outlets set up outside Dar es Salaam with the objective of providing broadcasting services including advertisement, community development programs, sports, health, environment and agriculture etc. in Tanzania. The radio station covers Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Manyara and Tanga regions. TMF will work with Radio Kili FM to enhance its capacity in data journalism, fact-checking and verification in relation to its investigative journalism content as well as to expand its revenue streams and make the transition from traditional to more modern broadcasting.
Ebony FM (Iringa):
Ebony FM broadcasts informative and educative programming to a dynamic and predominantly Swahili speaking audience in the southern highlands of Tanzania. The station is interested in enhancing its capacity to sustainably support itself through predominantly investigative journalism content.