When looking at the companies that run popular media outlets, it becomes obvious: the number of TV outlets, radio channels or newspapers, does not necessarily mean a pluralistic media landscape.
The print sector is highly concentrated, with Mwananchi Communication Limited (MCL) being a determining force in the market. The broadcasting sector shows concentration as the audience turns towards outlets that a small number of companies own. Especially IPP Media Group stands out with its cross-media operations. Economically, the state-run public corporations have a competitive edge as they – according to the MOM advisory group – get a big share of the Government advertising.
Interestingly, the online sector – at least still – is an exception: it seems that an alternative set of suppliers were able gain a foothold and provide popular content for the Tanzanian audience. They are not owned by the usual suspects but by independent bloggers. However, how this online sphere will change in the aftermath of the latest Online Content Regulation is unpredictable so far.
And who owns those companies?
As the audience turns towards only few media outlets run by a few media companies to get informed, a handful of media owners gain influence over public opinion. When shedding light on those individuals, two phenomena are revealed: Owners are involved in either politics or business endeavors. And the number of women as media owners is worryingly low.