Assessment on Newspaper Reportage on Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project: A Case of Mwananchi and Habarileo Newspapers

Ibrahim M. Juma *

Department of Mass Communication, School of Graduate Studies, St. Augustine University of Tanzania, Tanzania.

Rajendran J. Britto

Department of Mass Communication, School of Graduate Studies, St. Augustine University of Tanzania, Tanzania.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Despite regular coverage in newspapers about government-established strategic development projects, citizens lack comprehensive awareness of the Julius Nyerere Hydropower project. This gap suggests that newspapers have incomplete responses to the public interest in the project. Using framing theory, this study aimed to understand this phenomenon by assessing newspaper reporting on the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project. Specifically, it sought to analyse the issues covered in relation to the project, explore the prevalent media frames employed when reporting Julius Nyerere, and examine the sources of information used by newspapers in reporting on the project. Content analysis examined news stories in Mwananchi and Habarileo from June 1st to August 31st, 2019. The findings revealed that newspapers covered seven key aspects: project launch, development stages, historical context, tourism impacts, budget details, security concerns, and employment opportunities. Primary media frames included attributing responsibility, environmental impacts, and economic consequences. Newspapers relied heavily on government officials, experts, official reports, ordinary citizens, and political leaders as sources. However, coverage often paralleled government events, indicating a potential lack of independent journalism. Nevertheless, newspapers effectively used media frames to convey information about the project, resonating with readers. However, an imbalance was noted in source utilization, favouring government voices. In summary, despite newspapers' efforts to cover the Julius Nyerere Hydropower project, there is a disconnect between media coverage and public awareness. While newspapers effectively frame information, they often rely heavily on government sources, potentially limiting independent scrutiny. This study sheds light on the dynamics of media coverage and its impact on the public perception of major development projects.

Keywords: Episodic, thematic, framing, media, news, newspaper, reportage, Broadcasting, Government, project


How to Cite

Juma , Ibrahim M., and Rajendran J. Britto. 2024. “Assessment on Newspaper Reportage on Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project: A Case of Mwananchi and Habarileo Newspapers”. Asian Research Journal of Arts & Social Sciences 22 (7):32-41. https://doi.org/10.9734/arjass/2024/v22i7548.

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