Print journalists’ attitude towards citizen journalism in Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
This qualitative study explored the attitude of Tanzanian print journalists towards citizen journalism. This study was conducted in Dar es Salaam by holding in-depth interviews with managing editors, news editors and reporters who were purposively selected from three media houses: The government-owned media Daily News and Habari Leo, the privately-owned media The Guardian and Nipashe and cross border ownership The Citizen and Mwananchi. The total sample for this study was 24 respondents, eight respondents from each media house. Key findings show that citizen journalism is flourishing and challenging conventional journalism in Tanzania and that conventional journalists need to work even harder to explore issues beyond what citizen journalists do to succeed. The findings also reveal that citizen journalists provide tips or news ideas which are then developed by professional journalists into full-fledged news stories taking into consideration news values and ethics and making available newsworthy information from localities not covered by media professionals. Moreover, citizen journalists’ outputs are mainly incorporated into private owned media rather than government-owned media which are wary of citizen journalism primarily due to ethical considerations. The findings also indicate that newspapers are more negatively affected by citizen journalism than television and radio. Television and radio can break and broadcast news in a timely manner unlike newspapers whose stories are seen as repetitions by those who have already read the same items on social networking sites. Finally, the study findings confirm that citizen journalists can easily obtain exclusive pictures, videos and stories unlike conventional journalists because they are many and available everywhere when events occur and can instantly record and share their stories and reportage of events publicly via social media. Based on these findings, this study recommends that outputs by citizen journalists be embraced by Tanzanian media and government-owned entities to keep citizens abreast of daily intelligence.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF PN4784.C615T34H87)
Citizen journalism, Tanzania
Hussein, S. A. (2015) Print journalists’ attitude towards citizen journalism in Tanzania .Master dissertation,University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.