Is this the Daily News? Adam Lusekelo Daily News; Sunday,October 14, 2007 I was there when the late Mwalimu Nyerere nationalised the Standard newspaper. He called it what we now know - the Daily News. I will quote heavily on his maiden piece. In the future there can be no suspicion that this English language newspaper is serving the interests of foreign private owners Mwalimu intoned. As a nationally owned newspaper, the first aim of the Standard will be to serve the interests of the people of Tanzania. Mzee wrote. But has it? Has the Daily News lived up to Mzees dream? Much water has passes under the bridge. The paper which was to help build socialism is now devoid of any ideology. It is busy being the custodian of government secrets, nay, government officials. According to the Daily News, Buzwagi never happened. Richmond has never existed. It is a figment of imagination of all those enemies of Tanzania and agents of imperialism. Rulers are busy on the front pages in the press trying to impress the rest of us that they are busy. The Daily News is expected to operate without government subsidy, but its purpose will be service , not making of profit. Or so Mzee thought. But it has been receiving subsidies until recently when a guy called Seth Kamuhanda came in and turned it around. It is now making money. Ages ago I suggested to the then minister for information, the late Ahmed Diria that he should sell half the shares to us writers and the government keep the rest. He looked at me as if I was a dangerous capitalist agent. But we became great friends until our maker took him. Now the Daily News is busy living on government ads. It is busy disintegrating into a government public relations department. Editors are now summoned for a finger-wagging session by rulers (Not Jack Mrisho) to be warned to publish and write the right things. But you cannot do that in a liberalised,demiocratic place. It is comical playing the ostrich, by burying you head in the sand! Mwalimu said that the Daily News will be guided by the principle that free debate is an essential element of socialism, and will serve to encourage and maintain a high standard of socialist discussion. The new standard will be free to criticise any particular acts of individual Tanu or government leaders, and to publicise any failures in the community, by whomever they are committed. It will be free to criticise the implementation of agreed policies , either on its own initiative or following upon complaints or suggestions from its readers. Mwalimu wrote. All has come to nought. I frankly think we have been reduced to a bunch of praise singers. The one party mindset is still intact. Politicians call editors and tell them what to write. What the pompous politicians should know is that the average reader wants to read what is news. The whole idea of producing a paper is to be read. This is not a fashion show whereby we photograph politicians in different attire every day. Leave the fashion show to that to David and Victoria Bekham. Usually Mwalimu spoke occasionally. But then, he usually said something. Now guys have nothing to say. They then bore us senseless with the peace and tranquillity thing. Mwalimu meant well, I believe. But there are some ridiculous people who think that the press is about kowtowing to them! It is not. Just leave us alone. I know there are some clowns who have, and are still using the media to become politicians. But most of us journos are just that. And we resent politicians trying to teach us our jobs.