Tanzanian Broadcasting Corporation
Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) is the only public broadcaster on Tanzania mainland. TBC is a public corporation established under the Public Corporation Act, 1992 to provide a public service broadcasting through radio and television.
TBC is owned by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania through the Treasury Register, a department within the Ministry of Finance, that holds 100 percent of shares. The interest of the government is to use TBC to reinforce government’s efforts in nation-building. Consequently, the Government expects TBC to be its mouthpiece rather than speak independently and objectively.
At the same time, the Government provides financial support for TBC: literature reviewed showed that about 90% of its annual income is derived from Government subsidy, one of many major factors that comprise the autonomy and independence of TBC. The remaining funding comes from TBC’s own commercial activities such as adverts and sponsored programs.
This gives the impression that while TBC is legally a public broadcaster , there exist financial and political dependencies which lead TBC to operate as a state broadcaster in practice.
According to Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (Establishment) Order, 2007, TBC has all the characteristics of a public broadcaster. For example, it is mandated to encourage Tanzanian expression by offering a wide range of programs that: reflect Tanzanian attitudes, opinion, ideas, values and artistic creativity; display Tanzanian talent in educational and entertainment programs; offer a plurality of news and variety of news, information and analysis from Tanzania point of view; and advance the national and public interests. To ensure its autonomy and independence, the Establishment Order requires that “there shall be a Charter between TBC and the Ministry (responsible for broadcasting services) empowering TBC to become a public service broadcaster with universal service obligation. The Charter shall ensure that TBC in pursuing its goals and exercising its powers, enjoy the freedom of expression, journalistic creativeness and programming free from interference from the Government and other stakeholders.” However, in practice TBC does not live to its expected role of public broadcasting. According to key informants, there is no Charter between TBC and the Minister despite two attempts by different TBC administrations to draft the Charter and submit to the Minister for consideration before negotiating the final Charter. Literature reviewed showed that autonomy and independence of TBC is compromised mainly by structural bias, self-censorship and to a less extent by partisan bias and laws.
TBC operates both radio and television public service outlets. Television service has two channels namely TBC1 and TBC2 whereas the radio service has three channels namely TBC Taifa, TBC FM and TBC International. Since its autonomy and independence have been compromised, the public has very low opinion of TBC outlets because they regard them as mouthpiece of the ruling party and its government, particularly during general elections. Both internal and external election monitoring reports testified that reporting of TBC outlets always favoured the ruling party and its candidates. For example, during the 2010 general elections TBC tried to be objective in its reporting, making one observer call it “dazzling performance.” However, the dazzling performance costed its chief executive officer his job at the end of his first term contract with the government.
TBC’s history gives a lead why and how it was set up as public broadcaster: it is a merger between the then Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam and Televisheni ya Taifa –TVT (national television). On March 1955 the station was upgraded into a fully fledged government department and renamed Tanganyika Broadcasting Services when its reach became territorial. TBS was transformed into Tanganganyika Broadcasting Corporation on July 1, 1956. TBC was a public corporation on the model of the BBC. However, its autonomy and independence was compromised because it had to operate under close watch of the colonial government hence served as mouthpice of the colonial government.
In 1965, the nationalist government introduced in the National Assembly the TBC Dissolution Bill and Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam was established as a department of the Ministry of Information, Boradcasting and Tourism.Public service television broadcast started trial transmission in October 16, 1999 and formal transmission started in March 15, 2000. On July 1, 2007 Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam and the national television (TVT) were merged into Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation.
Broadcast, Television Network
Government of the United Republic of Tanzania owns TBC through the Treasury Register, a department within the Ministry of Finance. The government has interest in ownership of media since May 1961 when Tanzania mainland was grantd Internal Self Government which prepared the administrative machinery ready for independence. It runs TSN as well as public broadcaster TBC.
Other TV Outlets
Other Radio Outlets
TBC FM a
Other Online Outlets
registered as a Online Content Service at TCRA.
Revenue (Financial Data/ Optional)
90% of its annual income is derived from Government subsidy
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
Advertising (in % of total funding)
Dr. Ayubu Rioba - holds the position of Director General at TBC. Hes appointed by the President in 2016. Prior to that position, he worked as a lecturer at at University of Dar es Salaam, School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is a professional journalist (worked amongst other for the Daily News) and book author. He has a track record as critical columnist on the government, however, since in the current position, he remains silent.
Ambassador Herbert Mrango- retired civil senior civil servant.
Mr William Kallaghe – National Bank of Commercial
Member. Tanzania Investment Centre
Director. Tanzania Information Services (MAELEZO)
Central Establishment (UTUMISHI)
Bank of Tanzania
Other Influential People
President - appoints the CEO/ Director General and Board Chairman.
Minister of Information - appoints the other board members.
Ministry of Finance - confirms annual budget for TBC.
Company registered at BRELA, profile requested, still pending. Questionnaires were returned.
Mboya, F, Mkwawa J, Kilimwiko, L (1982). The Functions and Role of the Press in Tanzania. A case study, Diploma Thesis. Tanzania School of Journalism.
Mwaffisi, M (1985). Broadcasting in Tanzania: Case study of Broadcasting System. MA Thesis. University of Washington, Seattle, USA.
Mwaffisi, M (2013). Editorial Independence in Public Broadcasting in Africa: Case of Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation During Multi-party Presidential Elections, 1995-2010. PhD Thesis. University of Dar es Salaam.
Mytton, G, (1976). The Role of Mass Media in Nation-Building in Tanzania. PhD Thesis. Manchester.
TBC (2007). Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation Establishment Order.
Tanzanian Government (1992). Public Corporation Act.