A training needs assessment by the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) has identified a large need for training among the country's media practitioners, writes Dennis Itumbi.
According to a report on the MCT website, the study showed that all cadres in the media, ranging from media managers to reporters andÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â presenters, needÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â refresher, upgradingÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â and issue-based knowledge and skillsÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â enhancement to perform their duties properly. The study was conducted by veteran journalist and media trainer, Gervas Moshiro, assisted by another media trainer, Jack Meena .
The two presented a draft report of their findings to the Executive Secretary of the MCT, Kajubi Mukajanga, recently.
The assessment found that 98 per cent of working journalists need training in professionalÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â skills and in various thematic areas ranging from social, politicalÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â to economicÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â subjects.
While the studyÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â showedÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â media managers need training onÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â human resource management, business management, marketing, ICT, advertising and leadership, editors andÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â producers require sharpening in communicationÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â skills, editing, headline writing, electronicÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â programme production and editing.
ForÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â sub-editors, the study shows , they need training in subbing, communication skills, headline writing, newspaper editing and layout and programme formats and ICT skills and senior reporters need advance training on communication , reporting , writing skills, investigative skills, news analysis, techniques for follow up stories, critical thinking, interviewingÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â techniques and exposure.
Refresher trainingÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â in reportingÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â and writing skills , techniquesÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â of getting the story right and investigative skills, is what reporters andÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â presenters need, according to the study.
Other areas of concern include; presentation and interviewing skills, photo-taking, editing and caption writing.
Expressing their views and recommendations on journalism training institutions in the country, media practitioners pointed out in the study that the institutions should combine academic rigour with intensive practical work and that they should achieve a fine balance between education and training.
The services of experienced journalists should be utilized by the training institutions.
Despite acknowledging the rolesÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â in training mentorship ofÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â training managers in media houses , theÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â study also dweltÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â on the need forÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â establishing an in-service training institute for journalists in the country.
Speaking about the draft report , MCT chiefÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â Mukajanga, said: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe are now entering a new chapter that would probably revolutionise mid-career journalists where the beneficiaries say what they needÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â to be trained in,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he said.
The draft reportÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â is now subjectÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â for discussion by all stakeholders -Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â media managers, the trainers and senior journalists atÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â a meeting to be convened byÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â MCT.
According to Pili Mtambalike, MCTÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Programme Officer, the views of stakeholders on the draft report would beÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â accommodatedÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â in the final report of the study.
Major media houses in country participated in the study which lastedÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â over a month.