Two media outlets have been fined a total of 6m/- for violating regulations governing broadcasting services in the country.
These are Times FM Radio and Sahara Media group, which have both been ordered to pay 3m/- each and issued with strong warning.
Reading the judgment to reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority’s Content Committee Chairperson, Valerie Msoka, said the communications regulator also issued a strong warning to other two media outlets to ensure that they observe content regulations when airing their programmes.
She explained that Times FM has been fined 3m/-for airing a program dubbed ‘Twenzetu’, which in its segment known as ‘Mkubete’ violated content regulations. In the first offence committed last year, Msoka said through the segment, the presenter conducted an interview with a woman who betrayed her husband by having an affair with her husband’s younger brother.
He said during the interview, the presenter interviewed the woman and the husband’s young brother, an act which endangered the lives of the two people and interfering in their private affair, which is against the law.
She noted that the programme aired was contrary to Broadcasting Services Regulations (2005), which require every licensee to ensure that the programmes aired does not injure the reputation of individuals and does not interfere with peoples private affair.
While Sahara Media group through Star TV was charged for airing ‘Futuhi’, a comedy programme on October 13 last year, which depicted students attacking their teacher with crude weapons, which portrays disrespect for the teaching profession and also encourages bad habit in teenagers.
The two media houses have also been ordered to air an apology to the public for three consecutive days in their news bulletin.
TCRA Content Committee also issued a strong warning to Channel Ten and Clouds Entertainment FM for violation of broadcasting regulations, and they have also demanded the two stations to air an apology to the public in their news bulletin for three consecutive days from 24 and 25 February respectively.
Channel Ten which is under the Africa Media Group Limited (AMGL), was charged for broadcasting a news bulletin on November 16 last year concerning a primary school boy who was sodomized by a bodaboda driver at Buguruni Shule bodaboda station, while disclosing the name of the victim’s mother and the place they reside contrary to regulations.
She said that the law restricts identifying and disclosing rape victims or victims of other sexual offences without prior consent of the victim, or disclosing the identity of minors who are victims of rape or any other crime.
Meanwhile, Clouds FM through it’s ‘Jahazi’ programme aired every weekdays in the evening on its ‘Mastori ya town’ segment on October 3 last year, one of its presenters’ aired words which disrespect a pastor who impregnated a form two student in Shinyanga.
According to Msoka, the regulations also require the presenter to air programmes that do not incite or perpetuate hatred against or vilify any group or person on the basis of ethnicity, race, gender religion or disability.
The station also discussed sexual affairs and aired their program at a time when a substantial number of children were likely to be part of the audience, thus violating the regulations governing broadcasting services (content) which restrict such programme to be aired between 5.30am and 21pm.