TCRA urged to increase awareness of information to reduce conflicts

August 31, 2018
MEDIA stakeholders in the country have challenged the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) to increase awareness of information to reduce conflicts and amend its content regulation to cope with changes in technology.

Nucta Africa Ltd Executive Editor and CEO Nuzulack Dauson made the challenge yesterday in Dar es Salaam during the media stakeholders' roundtable discussion on impacts of removing Free to Air (FTA) channels from Pay TV that was organised by Internews. 

Dauson said there were all indications that what happened now had highly contributed by lack of awareness among the users on their rights and what the country regulations say.

He added that the experience had so far shown that most information users including the viewers and audiences do not know their rights hence the cause of conflicts between them and services providers.

The TCRA move to increase public awareness about Pay TV has contributed to the current misunderstandings among stakeholders.

"I call on TCRA to make constant update of information especially the regulations governing the content regulation which has now raise tensions among the public," he said.

Dauson challenged the government to set aside subsidies that will be used to pay for subscribes to reduce cost to the audiences and viewers of television and radio.

The CEO explained further that it was obviously known that the decision to remove FTA channels from Pay TV had adversely negative to both information users and providers.

Senior communication advisor from Twaweza, Risha Chande said TCRA's decision limit people from free access to information thus denying them their rights.

"As a regulatory board, TCRA is needed to increase transparency and awareness about the consumers rights to reduce unnecessary conflicts and on doing so people will have confidence to the authority," she insisted.

Advocate of the High Court, Froldius Mutungi said the content regulation has gaps that can give loopholes to leaders to either penalise a fine of not less than 5 million or sentence 12 years in prison or both.

The advocate added that the law could directly specify the amount to avoid judgment that can sometimes be unfair.

TCRA principal frequency management, Eng Joel Chacha defended the decision to remove free to air channels from Pay TV saying it was according to content regulation.

He however admitted that lack of awareness and up to date information from TCRA was still a great challenge and vowed to work on it to eliminate conflicts.

In his welcome remarks, the Internews, Media and Communication Director, Wenceslaus Mushi said the discussion aimed at bringing together stakeholders to discuss challenges and way forward to ensure people free access to information.