Header: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania



The ELCT Media Work
Brief by Elizabeth Lobulu
Coordinator, ELCT Communication Programmes
E- mail: Elobulu@elct.or.tz

Media Work:  

Radio Work

Most people in Tanzania are illiterate and rural based where they have no access to other media of communication except the radio. Radio is an effective tool for mission and evangelism because message can be transmitted simultaneously to all the people the mass medium can reach.

The ELCT's radio work was started in 1962 at Moshi as a recording studio for the Addis Ababa based Radio Voice of the Gospel (RVOG).  It was very popular among the Swahili speakers in Eastern and Central Africa.  In 1977 when Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown by Mengistu Haile Mariam, the Ethiopian radio stopped functioning.  In 1979, LWF assisted in the resumption of the studio production in Moshi.  The programmes were aired by Radio FEBA in Seychelles and later by TransWorld Radio based in Manzini.  It was through the assistance of Bavaria that in 1994 the studio got a license to operate an FM station known as RSYI, Swahili acronym for RVOG.

The policy is to have 30 per cent religious or Gospel Programmes and 70 percent Development Programmes.  But in most cases religious programmes account for more than 50 percent.

Contact Mr. Calvin Lyaro
The Radio Director
E-mail: radio@elct.org

Uhuru na Amani   

Uhuru na Amani started in 1932 at Vuga press near Lushoto under a different name and format. It was known as The Lords Kingdom (Ufalme wa Mungu) and later on changed its name to The Christian Flag (Bendera ya Mkristo) and during the 60s when everyone was agitating for independence the name was changed to Freedom and Peace (Uhuru na Amani).

In the 60s and 70s it was produced every month.  In the 80s the frequency was 6 times a year while in the 90s the frequency dropped to between twice to three issues a year.

Through the 70s the paper was funded by the Church as part of the ELCT Common Work budget. Since that time, the cost has been met through

  • subsidy from the LCS/ LMC Block Grant like other departments of the ELCT Head Office
  • the 2% contributed by the Dioceses
  • sales of the magazine.

Tega Sikio   

Tega Sikio means "lend me your ear." The purpose of  “Tega Sikio,” published by the Church for circulation all over the country, is to produce a good community and religious newspaper.  The newspaper is to be issued weekly hitting the streets on Wednesdays. Its office will be located in Dar es Salaam, but coverage and circulation will be country-wide.

Objectives of Tega Sikio:

  • to chronicle the life of the Church and times in the work of the society through collecting news, editorialising, giving opinion, educating the public, advertising, giving announcements and entertaining through the print medium.
  • To serve as a paper for common people and a forum for democratic ideas as well as a vehicle for Christian mission.  The purpose of this three-pronged objective is to serve as a Prophetic voice of the Church and all peace advocates.
  • To serve as a vehicle for news collection, presentation, proprietors, advertising and publicity agents, journalists and literacy agents as well as give forum for democratic opinion.
  • To serve as advertising agents, advertisement contractors and designers of advertisements in all their branches. It will adopt such means of advertising as may seem expedient for the purpose of making    the business known and attractive to the public.
  • To apply, acquire and hold privileges, licenses or other rights and powers from the Government or any other authority to constitute the newspaper publishing service.
  • To support the establishment and support of associations,  institutions, funds, trusts and conveniences calculated to benefit employees of the newspaper and to grant pensions and allowances and to make payments towards insurance and subscribe or guarantee money for charitable purposes.

Since the mid-90s the country has witnessed the mushrooming of newspapers, but Tega Sikio is expected to become the single most important source of local, international information by dedicating itself to communicate Church, religious as well as secular issues.

Tega Sikio will carry analytical in-depth and well researched articles on issues concerning the society. While the primary focus will not be on political propaganda, limited coverage will be given to political activities that affect the lives of the people including issues of democracy.  Similarly, the focus will be on advocating issues concerning peace, justice and conflict resolution.

Unlike what is happening now in the field, the staff of Tega Sikio will have no room for complacency or error.  The quality of reporting, editing and professional ethics and norms will be followed very strictly and  fairly.

As a show case weekly paper, Tega Sikio  will carry attractive features and news items -- hard, soft and in-between.  Analysis and investigative reporting of news will be done in order to direct readers towards debate or decision making.

The packaging and formatting of the information in Tega Sikio will be done in such a manner that it will not be boring, given the fact that the readers attention is distracted by other issues.  Therefore, greater  attention will be given in order to have tighter and better edited stories.  But this does not mean shying away from complex issues. To the contrary much can be done by way of formatting and packaging.

ELCT Communications Policy   

In May 2000 ELCT Executive Council adopted the following policy:

Eleven priorities
Summary of the ELCT Communication Policy

  1. The ELCT needs to intensify its efforts in bolstering education, Christian faith, the well-being of its members as well as give the proper image of its witness in the world throughout the communication mass media.
  2. Every member of the congregation should be able to read and write as a human right.
  3. The ELCT should recruit a publisher in-charge of Church Literature Ministry.
  4. The ELCT should strengthen Uhuru na Amani magazine.
  5. The ELCT should implement the decision to launch Tega Sikio which is a liberal weekly newspaper.
  6. The ELCT should apply for a medium wave (AM) licence for RSYI Station.
  7. The ELCT should start zone FM stations.
  8. ELCT should launch its own website and get connected to internet; and all dioceses should use computers in performing accounts and secretarial work.
  9. Every ELCT diocese should have an e-mail link to ease communication.
  10. The ELCT should use the e-mail technology to launch an e- mail network to ease information sharing huddles within the ELCT family.
  11. The ELCT should introduce degree courses in communication at the MUCO branch of Tumaini University.

For more information on this contact the ELCT Communication Coordinator.

Future plans   

ELCT went through a restructuring exercise in 1995. This made it necessary to reevaluate the media organs as well.  Soon thereafter, in September 1999, the Communication Desk organised a Church leaders seminar to discuss the proposal to have a Communication Policy. The policy was adopted in May 2000.  The first priority then was to launch a liberal social newspaper. This was among eleven priorities. 

Between May 2000 and December 2001 the Desk was involved in editing the ELCT hymn book, doing media evaluation, and initiating the process to put in place a liberal paper.  The ground work is completed. The liberal weekly paper to be known as Tega Sikio, (see above) will be in Kiswahili to discuss social issues and concerns (with and implanted Christian flavour and messages if necessary).  It will be launched during the first-quarter of the year 2002. 

©2002-2019 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
Corrections to or questions about this page should be sent to: elcthq@elct.or.tz



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