Our story is inspired by the rapid change in the media landscape that the journalists and the media sector in Tanzania are operating. Technological, legal environment, economic environment which for years have been addressed, however, the approach used by many has remained to be organic and a bouncing ball. We are living in the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) which not only requires new skills which also affect the media and communications sector, it also affect how people relate and how we solve our challenges. The changing legal environment to regulate certain behaviors, would self regulation and innovation be the answer to the squeezed space? MediaSpace Tanzania wanted to be at the heart of whole this process, collaborating with like minded people to support journalists and the media sector to cope with all these changes.
Similarly, it’s worth noting that the world is changing, and technology brings both new opportunities and challenges. Media should catch up with such pace through using approaches that create a space not just for the Media to thrive, but also for everyone to access the media space and support the sustainable development efforts. In brief, every actor should play their role to see that Media operates not only in safe and secure environment, but also offering content that can empower the community to embrace Democratic Principles and Human Rights values and consequently, promote Good Governance.
Moreover, MediaSpace inspired by Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals’ spirit “leave no one behind”, desired to engaged “the people” especially, the vulnerable to also be part of the solutions to creating powerful narratives that inspire change and bring impact. Youth, women and young people have stories to tell but often times, they don’t get the opportunity to use media to their community’s advantage. Consequently, they are either denied of their rights and freedoms or they misuse the available opportunities to change their communities.
It’s important to note at the outset that, we are challenged by the fact that Our Society Lacks access to people centered stories in media that touch and empower them with information to foster public accountability.
Thus, MediaSpace support efforts towards achieving sustainable development however, we believe that to achieve sustainable development, the role of media and journalists as stipulated under SDGs goal 16 should be emphasized. We desire that our development should be inclusive of all voices where vulnerable groups such as women and young people have access to media to tell their stories and are empowered to hold their leaders accountable.
For us, development, or better, Sustainable Development Goals, will not be achieved if the role of media in fostering development is given less weight. Despite being an agenda setter, media plays a vital role in promoting democratic values, human rights and good governance. Sustainable Development Goal number 16 specifically, calls all countries to demonstrate progress in protecting fundamental freedoms, which include the right to freedom of expression and safety of journalists. In fact, if the community members are not well informed; if there is poor or no participation in the key decision-makingprocesses; if the communities and the public at large are not engaged in a transparent, fair and responsible manner, achieving these goals would be a far-fetched effort.
Our organization which is both a storytelling and innovative, focuses on people centered especially, the marginalized groups. We provide a space to young journos and citizen journalists while curating women journalist narratives. We support newsrooms in promoting girls’ and women image through supporting female leadership in newsrooms as well as inculcating the culture of diversity, inclusion and gender equality both in the newsrooms and online.