Tanzania regulates media in the run-up to the elections | DW's press releases | DW | 11.08.2020
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Tanzania regulates media in the run-up to the elections

Statement: In the run-up to the elections in Tanzania, a worrying trend towards restrictions on press freedom is emerging.

Election rally in Tanzania in July 2020

Election rally in Tanzania in July 2020

The regulatory authority (TCRA) has determined with immediate effect that all domestic media must apply for a separate licence if they wish to broadcast content from foreign media on their channels. Directly affected are the partner broadcasters of several international media, including DW.

Media in Tanzania must re-register and are not allowed to broadcast programmes of foreign partners until a new licence is granted. Several DW partner channels had temporarily suspended broadcasting the regularly adopted DW programmes after the new regulation was announced. The channels have been given one week to submit a new license application, according to sources in media management.

DW Director General Peter Limbourg: "This is a clumsy attempt to suppress critical voices and independent information before the elections in Tanzania. DW's programmes are extremely popular among users in Tanzania. The first reactions of our partners show enormous civil courage. But this far-reaching form of state censorship is difficult to counter. We support our partner broadcasters in Tanzania and together we will find ways to keep the population well informed, for example through the increased use of social media.

Among other things, the new censorship regulation entails:

A licence holder (broadcaster or media house registered in Tanzania) is not allowed to join forces with another content service provider to broadcast local or foreign programmes without permission from the authorities. After receiving the permission, the licence holder will be liable for all content that violates the law and these regulations. The holder of a content license is not allowed to visit, or do business with, foreign nationals regarding the broadcast of content without being accompanied by a government official or an employee of the regulatory authority.

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EINSCHRÄNKUNG DW Personenfoto | Corporate Communications | Carla Hagemann

Carla Hagemann

Corporate Spokesperson and Head of Corporate Communications


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