September 23, 2010

Leave Daily News out of that hopeless adventurism, please - Editor

A vividly pro-Willibrod Slaa weekly tabloid has used our name in a shameful attempt to prop up the Chadema presidential candidate’s campaign, suggesting that he was being backed by three quarters of local internet surfers.
In its lead story on Tuesday, the September 22-28 edition of the tabloid deliberately misused an online poll involving a mere 161 visitors to purport that the whole nation was behind Slaa. While noting the tabloid editors’ virtual confession that they cannot be believed without quoting the Daily News, we abhor the unprofessional decision to use our name to lend credence to their wildly hopeless adventure.
The editors of the tabloid know that the figures they used are quoted out of context and are absolutely unrealistic. That is why they confess in the fabricated report that very few Tanzanians have access to the internet and that the purported poll results do not reflect
what will come out of the October 31 ballot.
So why would they venture out with old poll results today? Vicious anti-establishment fervor at best and malicious conspiracy to settle old scores at worst. That is typical activist journalism practiced by a section of the media, which has openly identified with the opposition and plays down any positive achievement of President Kikwete’s government while orchestrating purported failures, mostly made up ones.
The attempt to enlist the support of the Daily News was apparently meant to save another tabloid blushes after carrying an equally wild fabrication to the effect that Synovate had censored results of a poll showing Slaa leading president Kikwete by four points in popularity. The pollster has publicly derided the tabloid and lodged a complaint with the Media Council.
It is high time that section of the media learnt its lessons and returned to professional practice. We think there is nothing particularly wrong in covering presidential aspirants favourably, but the reports must at least be true. And the truth is that DrWillibrod
Slaa will not be the fifth president of Tanzania.
The Chadema candidate has a lot of issues to settle, beginning at family level, from which he will need to practice leadership upwards. He will, indeed, garner some votes in October, just like Augustine Mrema in 1995, but that will be it, and the media behind the former priest can quote us on that.

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