The CEO of The Journalism Foundation, Simon Kelner, visited Dar es Salam this week to investigate a possible project to bring news to rural Tanzania. During this trip, he met with Ben Taylor, the Executive Director of Daraja, a new not-for-profit organisation that aims to make local government more accountable to the community.
Under the brand Kwanza Jamii (‘Community First’ in Swahili) and with support from the Department For International Development (DFID) and the Tanzania Media Fund, Daraja runs a chain of local newspapers which aim to make local government more accountable to the community. The first paper Kwanza Jamii Njombe was launched in 2010 and covers the Njombe region. The second paper Kwanza Jamii Iringa was started a year later and Kwanza Jamii Mbeya will be launched this year.
The mainstream media in Tanzania rarely report on local issues. Daraja’s papers aim to scrutinise local government through investigative journalism, rural reporting, civic education, and public debate. The ambition of Daraja is to extend its reach to more rural regions of Tanzania and is looking for support to cover this expansion.
See pictures of Simon Kelner’s trip above and follow him on Twitter @4journalism