The role of mass media in promoting socialist consciousness among Tanzanian workers and peasants: a case of Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam

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Date
1988
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Publisher
University of Dar es Salaam
Abstract
In any society mass media and especially the radio is always used to disseminate the ideology of the dominant class of that society. In a neo-colonial social formation whose economies are dependent, and whose state is also dependent, mass media in general and the radio in particular being a state organ, are all dependent to the metropolitan countries. Consequently, the radio and other mass media in such social formation like Tanzania, tend to serve the interests of the ruling class which is located outside Tanzania. Despite the above reality as far as mass media are concerned, the governing class of Tanzania most of whom are party. Government and parastatal leaders claim to effectively use the mass media in general and especially the radio to effect socialist relation in Tanzania. It is in the light of the above allegation put forward by the governing class of Tanzania that this study intends to prove the inability of a radio operating in a neo-colonial set up to effectively disseminate socialist information, news, value, norms, attitudes and socialist ideology to the masses of workers and peasants of Tanzania. In a neo-colonial set up like that of Tanzania whose state has never been transformed, all the state organs like the radio serves the interests and safeguard the intersts of governing class on one hand and those of the ruling class on the other. The radio in Tanzania, together with other state apparati, remain alienated from the majority of workers and peasants. This is so because the radio in Tanzania does not work in the interests of the governing and the ruling classes. In our attempt to prove the above assertion we have divided our discussion into four chapters. Chapter one, states the problem area and advances some hypothesis. This chapter, also discusses methodological issues together with defining a number of concepts used in the thesis. Objectives, significance of the study together with some limitations in our study are raised in this chapter. Chapter two, of this study consists mainly the theoretical framework and the review of literature. In this part, we have advanced the dependency theory in which we have consistently argued that, given the nature of the economy in Tanzania, i.e. the dependent economic structure, it follows that the state in Tanzania also remains a dependent state. We have clearly thrown that with the state hegemony all the state organs like the radio have remained dependent on the metropolitan countries for news, information, hard and software technologies together with finances. It is this dependence that deprives the radio of its capability to disseminate socialist ideology. Consequently, radio Tanzania lacks the ability to raise socialist consciousness of workers and peasants. Secondly, the state in Tanzania is not controlled by the majority of workers and peasants, but it is in the hands of undemocratic and bureaucratic petty bourgeoisie whose interest is not to build socialist relations of production but to consolidate capitalist exploitation of man by man. This class tend to use the state organs in general and the radio ni particular to further its interests. In this chapter a number of experts writing on mass media in general and on the radio in specific are reviewed. Their shortcomings like discussing on the role of education, communication, information, culture and entertainment without relating them to the relations and distribution in the production set up were dealt with. Their failure to associate mass media and the radio in particular to the nature of the state with its corresponding class character are fully discussed. However, we have stated categorically that since the state in Tanzania is not homogeneous there are progressive individuals within the state. A few socialist oriented works find the way in the mass media and in the radio in particular. These are isolated few cases and sometimes they are insignificant since they are not broadcasted frequently. In chapter three all the data that we were able to collect from Radio Tanzania are critically analysed. The data collected and analysed range between rural development, education especially adult education, the manufacturing firms, decentralization, culture, music, drama, poetry, news commentaries and party programmes. The content of the above mentioned programmes are analysed and related to socialist ideology. Most of the programmes nevertheless prove to be capitalist oriented than socialist. Generally speaking our findings in chapter three have proved the fact that in a neo-colonial set up like Tanzania, mass media in general and the radio in particular lacks the capability to disseminate socialist ideology to workers and peasants. In our last chapter, chapter four, we have come out with a number of recommendations as the sole remedy to the problem discussed. We have argued that unless the state in Tanzania is transformed and the majority of workers and peasants in alliance with progressive petty bourgeois control the state with its organs, like the radio and others can not raise peasants and workers socialist consciousness nor can it help to transform Tanzania into socialist relations.
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Keywords
Radio in politics, Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Citation
Magayane, B. C. M. (1988) The role of mass media in promoting socialist consciousness among Tanzanian workers and peasants: a case of Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (http://41.86.178.3/internetserver3.1.2/detail.aspx)