ELCT Media Work
by Elizabeth Lobulu
Coordinator, ELCT Communication Programmes
E- mail: Elobulu@elct.or.tz
in Tanzania are illiterate and rural based where they have no access
to other media of communication except the radio. Radio is an effective
tool for mission and evangelism because message can be transmitted
simultaneously to all the people the mass medium can reach.
ELCT's radio work
in 1962 at Moshi as a recording studio for the Addis Ababa based Radio
Voice of the Gospel (RVOG). It was very popular among the Swahili
speakers in Eastern and Central Africa. In 1977 when Emperor Haile
Selassie was overthrown by Mengistu Haile Mariam, the Ethiopian radio
stopped functioning. In 1979, LWF assisted in the resumption of the
studio production in Moshi. The programmes were aired by Radio FEBA
in Seychelles and later by TransWorld Radio based in Manzini. It
was through the assistance of Bavaria that in 1994 the studio got
a license to operate an FM station known as RSYI, Swahili acronym
is to have 30 per cent religious or Gospel Programmes and 70 percent
Development Programmes. But in most cases religious programmes account
for more than 50 percent.
Mr. Calvin Lyaro
The Radio Director
na Amani started in 1932 at Vuga press near Lushoto under a different
name and format. It was known as The Lords Kingdom (Ufalme
wa Mungu) and later on changed its name to The Christian Flag
(Bendera ya Mkristo) and during the 60s when everyone was agitating
for independence the name was changed to Freedom and Peace
(Uhuru na Amani).
60s and 70s it was produced every month. In the 80s the frequency
was 6 times a year while in the 90s the frequency dropped to between
twice to three issues a year.
the 70s the paper was funded by the Church as part of the ELCT Common
Work budget. Since that time, the cost has been met through
from the LCS/ LMC Block Grant like other departments of the ELCT
contributed by the Dioceses
Sikio means "lend me your ear." The purpose of “Tega
Sikio,” published by the Church for circulation all over the country,
is to produce a good community and religious newspaper. The newspaper
is to be issued weekly hitting the streets on Wednesdays. Its office
will be located in Dar es Salaam, but coverage and circulation will
of Tega Sikio:
the life of the Church and times in the work of the society through
collecting news, editorialising, giving opinion, educating the
public, advertising, giving announcements and entertaining through
the print medium.
as a paper for common people and a forum for democratic ideas
as well as a vehicle for Christian mission. The purpose of this
three-pronged objective is to serve as a Prophetic voice of the
Church and all peace advocates.
as a vehicle for news collection, presentation, proprietors, advertising
and publicity agents, journalists and literacy agents as well
as give forum for democratic opinion.
as advertising agents, advertisement contractors and designers
of advertisements in all their branches. It will adopt such means
of advertising as may seem expedient for the purpose of making
the business known and attractive to the public.
acquire and hold privileges, licenses or other rights and powers
from the Government or any other authority to constitute the newspaper
the establishment and support of associations, institutions,
funds, trusts and conveniences calculated to benefit employees
of the newspaper and to grant pensions and allowances and to make
payments towards insurance and subscribe or guarantee money for
the mid-90s the country has witnessed the mushrooming of newspapers,
but Tega Sikio is expected to become the single most important
source of local, international information by dedicating itself to
communicate Church, religious as well as secular issues.
Sikio will carry analytical in-depth and well researched articles
on issues concerning the society. While the primary focus will not
be on political propaganda, limited coverage will be given to political
activities that affect the lives of the people including issues of
democracy. Similarly, the focus will be on advocating issues concerning
peace, justice and conflict resolution.
what is happening now in the field, the staff of Tega Sikio
will have no room for complacency or error. The quality of reporting,
editing and professional ethics and norms will be followed very strictly
As a show
case weekly paper, Tega Sikio will carry attractive features
and news items -- hard, soft and in-between. Analysis and investigative
reporting of news will be done in order to direct readers towards
debate or decision making.
and formatting of the information in Tega Sikio will be done
in such a manner that it will not be boring, given the fact that the
readers attention is distracted by other issues. Therefore, greater
attention will be given in order to have tighter and better edited
stories. But this does not mean shying away from complex issues.
To the contrary much can be done by way of formatting and packaging.
2000 ELCT Executive Council adopted the following policy:
Summary of the ELCT Communication Policy
needs to intensify its efforts in bolstering education, Christian
faith, the well-being of its members as well as give the proper
image of its witness in the world throughout the communication
of the congregation should be able to read and write as a human
should recruit a publisher in-charge of Church Literature Ministry.
should strengthen Uhuru na Amani magazine.
should implement the decision to launch Tega Sikio which
is a liberal weekly newspaper.
should apply for a medium wave (AM) licence for RSYI Station.
should start zone FM stations.
launch its own website and get connected to internet; and all
dioceses should use computers in performing accounts and secretarial
ELCT diocese should have an e-mail link to ease communication.
should use the e-mail technology to launch an e- mail network
to ease information sharing huddles within the ELCT family.
should introduce degree courses in communication at the MUCO branch
of Tumaini University.
information on this contact the ELCT Communication
through a restructuring exercise in 1995. This made it necessary to
reevaluate the media organs as well. Soon thereafter, in September
1999, the Communication Desk organised a Church leaders seminar to
discuss the proposal to have a Communication Policy. The policy was
adopted in May 2000. The first priority then was to launch a liberal
social newspaper. This was among eleven priorities.
May 2000 and December 2001 the Desk was involved in editing the ELCT
hymn book, doing media evaluation, and initiating the process to put
in place a liberal paper. The ground work is completed. The liberal
weekly paper to be known as Tega Sikio, (see above)
will be in Kiswahili to discuss social issues and concerns (with and
implanted Christian flavour and messages if necessary). It will be
launched during the first-quarter of the year 2002.