The Media Institute of Southern Africa –Tanzania Chapter (MISA-Tan) is a Non –governmental, Non partisan and Non – Profit Making Organization registered in 1997 under the Societies Ordinance, 1954 in Tanzania. The organization is affiliated to the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), the Head quarters of which are in Windhoek, Namibia. MISA was established in 1992 following the Windhoek declaration of Heads of States on Freedom of the Press in the region.
The main objectives of MISA are to campaign for Freedom of Expression and Right to Information throughout the SADC member countries hence promoting media diversity and pluralism. It has operating Chapters in all SADC countries. MISA is run by members from all member countries of SADC.
MISA Tanzania operations are divided into five programme areas: Lobbying and Advocacy for Freedom of Expression; Media Freedom Monitoring; Campaigning for Broadcasting Pluralism and Diversity, Media Support Activities; and Legal Support. The above – mentioned programmes are being implemented under a Strategic Partnership Programme which enables each chapter to implement the planned activities.
MISA Tanzania has individual and Institutional members. Its membership is open to media workers, freelance journalists, media institutions, media organizations and honorary members. The representatives of these members are elected to form national and regional governance structures in accordance with the provisions of the MISA rules and regulations for chapters as amended from time to time.
MISA Tanzania focuses on achieving sustainable, lasting change to make Tanzania a safer place for media workers. We envision a Country where everyone, including netizens, citizen journalists, activists, scholars and artists can practice their fundamental right of free expression. We participate in regional, continental and international forums, projects and actions to advance media freedom and freedom of expression across the continent and online, including:
Monitoring and drawing attention to violations of free speech and media freedom such as restrictions on access to information, killings, assaults, criminal charges and other unjustified attacks on media workers; Advocating for law reforms to improve access to information and free speech; And supporting greater professionalism in the media industry by building capacities through training, workshops seminars, research & information resources and other educational platforms.
MISA Tanzania believes that access to quality and timely information by everyone and most importantly to rural population is crucial to facilitating informed dialogue, monitoring and evaluation of development issues at the local level and to enhance governance and accountability for improved delivery of service, implementation of projects and enhancing accountability. Society’s access and right to information on government budgets and accounts, particularly at local level is often considered a necessary condition for good governance. Without basic information on public revenues and expenditures people cannot hold their elected leaders and executive officers accountable.
MISA Tanzania believes that meaningful participation in democratic processes requires informed participants. Secrecy reduces the information available to the citizenry, hobbling their ability to participate meaningfully.