A week or so ago, Tanzania Daima, a daily tabloid owned by the wife and child of Mr. Freeman Mbowe, CHADEMA National Chairman, reduced its print order from 20,000 copies per day to 10,000. The big question: what happened?
Bad business? Bad editorial policy?
1. Tanzania Daima Mbowe alilianzisha vizuri likawa na credibility na a healthy circulation. Alipoanza kuligeuza kuwa kama "Uhuru" la CHADEMA, akawa amefanya kosa kubwa. Lilipoanza kujaza makala za chuki za kina Ngurumo na Kibanda na Mbowe mwenyewe, it started going downhill. My argument has always been that Watanzania don't like "hate rhetoric" specialised by Mbowe, Ngurumo and Kibanda.
2. Accuracy kwenye coverage ni kitu muhimu sana (hili ndio jambo tunamkazania ndugu yetu Mwanakijiji). Coverage ikiwa ideologically driven, facts are ignored, objectivity thrown out of the window, na headings za makala zinakuwa headlines. That is what has been happening at Tanzania Daima. Gazeti hilo linaongoza kwa retraction rate na kuomba watu misamaha. Kibanda juzi tu kaomba audience na PM kumuomba radhi.
3. Bickering and backstabbing among the staff at the paper. Watu wanafanya gazeti moja lakini wanatukanana kwa makala kwa pen names. Yote hii ni fault ya Mbowe kwa ku-pick favourites and failure to properly lead his pack of "attack dogs" (this is a metaphor, don't kill me).
So, what is going to happen? Tanzania Daima will probably wind-up as a business in the next year - or will go down to 2,000 copies and become a fringe paper like Hoja or something like that. Yet another business failure by Mbowe but a greater diservice to the Dar readership as we were getting used to the slant and enjoying the venom.