Imagining the Media and Journalism in Tanzania in 2040 – A ‘Futures’ Approach

Technology has reformed the stride at which Media Development is evolving and adapting to these changes. With rapid advancements in emerging technologies, journalism and media development require closer scrutiny to understand its future in terms of sustainability, viability and impact to the community – particularly in local contexts like Tanzania.

To tackle this, among the organization’s working for over several months on specifically dissecting at how the future possible scenarios of the Media is International Media Support (IMS) who have done so in collaboration with key Media Stakeholders bringing together Media Experts, Development Partners, Civil Society and government. Collectively they have been trying to address – “Imagining the media and journalism in Tanzania in 2040: a ‘futures’ approach“.

Engaging Discussions on Media Futures – Participants at the IMS session delve into key insights and future scenarios for Tanzanian media, including contributions from Tech & Media Convergency (TMC), held at the Coral Beach Hotel, June 14, 2024
The Futures Approach

Tech & Media Convergency (TMC) was privileged to be part of “the Futures Approach” IMS-led exercise that presented three plausible media futures tentatively named Kizungumkuti, Habari Kitanzini, and Habari ina Run Dunia/Habari Huru. These scenarios sparked thought-provoking constructive feedback and contributions from the discussion group. IMS’s goal was to incorporate diverse views into the scenarios they developed and to reflect on considerations such as:

What could the news, journalism and media in Tanzania look like in 2040?
  • What key driving forces influence media freedom and media independence and how can media freedom and freedom of expression stakeholders anticipate and perhaps influence or plan for changes in media law and policy, media business and journalism practice?
  • What will the future of journalism in the country look like if we continue with business as usual? What do we need to prioritize now if we are to achieve the most desirable media future in 2040?
  • Is there room for media development organizations to restructure and reorganize for more effective media development results? What about actors in government and business; what is their role? How can government, media businesses, media development CSOs and media development funders coordinate/work together to promote sector resilience?

 

TMC is aware of how critical foresight is to successfully navigating the quickly changing media world brought about by technology breakthroughs. Through investigating possibilities such as that brought by IMS, it adds to an holistic overview. Through the development of tactics that guarantee sustainability, inclusivity, and impact, such initiatives strengthens the role of journalism in Tanzania’s democratic and developmental processes by creating a digital media environment that not only adapts to change but thrives in it.

One of TMC’s strategic focuses is on media and data, making this discussion particularly valuable because it provided added insights into how the organization can incorporate a more forward thinking of it’s Media-centric programs especially in emerging technologies. The emerged drivers for influencing the media landscape apart from the other generic ones were interesting, as well as the case-study attributed challenges and opportunities facing Tanzanian media practitioners. The meeting facilitated an envisioned sustainable and impactful future in media.

By the end of the session, three possible future scenarios were reviewed, and the developed key driving forces of media development, revealed and examined. There was also a reveal of the state of journalism and media through the report “Sauti za Waandishi: A Survey of Tanzanian Media Practitioners.