Tanzania Political Orientation
Government Type: Presidential Republic
Leader: President Samia Suluhu Hassan (since 2021)
Political Party: Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM)
Political Position: Left-Center – Ujamaa African Socialism
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 40.01 – Limited Freedom
World Press Freedom Rank: Tanzania 143/180
In 2023, Reporters Without Borders ranked Tanzania 143rd out of 180 countries in its Press Freedom Index. The organization said that the late president, John Magufuli, had “become increasingly authoritarian and hostile” to the media. Reporters Without Borders also said that the new president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, had “brought initial hopeful signs” but that these signs had “yet to come to fruition.”
Media Ownership and Government Analysis
The Tanzanian media landscape is a mix of state-owned, private, and community-based outlets. The Government owns and operates several media platforms, including the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC), Daily News, and its website. Daily News receives partial financial support from the central Government as well. These outlets tend to support the Government and do not provide critical coverage of its policies.
Tanzania has several private media outlets, but media ownership is highly concentrated. IPP Media and the state-run Tanzanian Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) are the two major players. IPP Media owns The Guardian and Financial Times. Other private media outlets include The Citizen (owned by Mwananchi Communications Limited, a subsidiary of Nation Media Group.), Independent Television (ITV) (owned by Independent Media Services Limited), and Azam TV (owned by Bakhresa Group). These privately owned outlets tend to be more critical of the Government and face government pressure.
Recently, there have been instances of government harassment, such as by using the Cybercrimes Act to harass opposition politicians, journalists, and activists and intimidation of journalists. These incidents highlight concerns regarding press freedom in Tanzania.
Tanzania’s Government has a history of interfering with the media. According to Freedom House, this interference has continued under the current administration, despite lifting a ban on media outlets. The Government suspended the CCM-owned Uhuru newspaper for reporting that President Samia Suluhu Hassan may not seek a full term in 2025. Additionally, the weekly publication Raia Mwema faced a 30-day suspension for reporting purportedly false news. These suspensions raise concerns about the future of press freedom in Tanzania. Therefore the future of press freedom in Tanzania is uncertain.
Last Updated on May 12, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
Left vs. Right Bias: How we rate the bias of media sources