Covering local news, the way only we (Tazama) can.
We may be standing on the cusp of new forms of journalism.
History proudly records that the invention of the printing press enabled newspapers and novels, similarly the invention of radio and television brought about the TV news and the documentary, there is every reason to believe that, the invention of new mediums in the internet age will enable its own journalism products and inventions to come forth.
At the moment, with misinformation and disinformation being the visible children of the internet age, there’s understandably a growing concern that journalism is losing its face and strength.
Humans though have shown an undeniable ability to adopt and make great use of new inventions even as we lament that the information space has become unsustainable where human attention is scarce and text and video are just commodities. My view, my personal conviction is that journalism must experiment with new ways of storytelling, break the barriers between those we serve and those who journalism has treated harshly or ignored. The challenge ahead won’t be easy or comfortable, but it will be interesting and it will certainly be editorial.
Those who talk about journalism, innovation, and change have equated this to technology; there’s more of bots and artificial intelligence and the likes, as a response to the injection of the internet into journalism, in effect, new journalism careers look like engineers, social media metric managers, software developers et al.
However, we at Tazama think the challenge of news deserts created by too few and in some cases non-existent journalism to serve communities who are in turn disappearing as viewers and readers can be solved by a journalism that is first rooted into community. Reporting to and for the community first, by taking stories offline or off the page and sharing them with our community and open door to journalism to feel the pulse of the community and really connect beyond the clicks and links.
Here, at Tazama we are telling stories about the community in ways only we can. We pride that our community journalist have an unrivaled access to the community, we do believe that journalism should help us understand how complex the issues we are facing are, by not making them sound-bites and trending topics but exploring the complexity and presenting the ideas as they are.
Our journalism seeks to report more on the local power and hold that power to account, the chiefs, our county commissioners, our counties, members of county assemblies and what goes on and in these spaces. Much of what happens in our towns and villages percolates upwards, shaping the broader dialogue.
These dynamics left unreported takes away a key part of our democracy with it because; if we don’t report on our local powers, how will voters know services and policies are being delivered or ignored, if voters don’t know that local politicians are betraying and misusing public funds how will they hold them to account on the ballot?
After all, all politics is local in effect local news should provide the context of our national civic and political discourse.