WINDHOEK, Namibia – PRN Africa — Concerns have been raised by activists and civil society organisations at the decision made by the government in January this year, to stop state-owned broadcaster Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) from airing live streaming of parliamentary proceedings.
During a briefing with Members of Parliament, the Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Mr Nape Nnauye explained to Members of Parliament that live coverage would be discontinued because the costs were extremely high and unaffordable.
According to a report in the Tanzanian Daily News, he said “the costs for running the coverage were unbearable for TBC given the fact that it attracted few adverts to keep it running profitably.”
“It should be understood that 75 per cent of programmes on TBC are educative while the remaining 25 per cent are for entertainment; TBC has thus been using its modest revenues from few adverts to foot the live coverage,” Mr Nnauye explained.
He added that “proceedings would be recorded and aired at night, arguing that few people are able to watch live coverage during the day due to their commitments.”
This announcement caused a stir amongst MPs and there was a request for Parliament to defer the debate on the president’s inaugural speech and instead focus the discussion on the decision by the government to stop live coverage of the assembly’s proceedings.
The sitting was then postponed by chairman of the session Mr Andrew Chenge who decided to take up the matter with Steering Committee of the National Assembly for a resolution
When the session was re-adjourned, Mr Chenge informed the MPs that the Steering Committee had directed the assembly to continue with its normal business.
Concerns continued being raised with some MPs expressing their dissatisfaction at the cessation of the discussion and eventually several opposition MPs were expelled from the Debating Chamber.
SOURCE Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
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