The power of expectations : News media confidence among social audiences in Dar es Salaam: An Mfs-study

University essay from Södertörns högskola/Institutionen för samhällsvetenskaper


In Tanzania, an ongoing private media boom operates within the frameworks of media laws dating back to the 1970s, restricting media freedom and enabling the government to keep some control of what is written on certain topics. This is widely acknowledged and makes Tanzania an interesting subject for studies of news media confidence from an audience perspective. Confidence is viewed as an attitude consisting of three components: the cognitive, the emotive and the behavioral component. The cognitive component consists of expectations and sought gratifications, the emotive component is the feeling of confidence or the disappointment of a failed expectation and the behavioral component includes what media an individual intends to use, which should not be mistaken for what media an individual is actually using. A quantitative questionnaire in Swahili was distributed to 84 randomly selected inhabitants of Dar es Salaam, almost equally distributed between three areas: the lower class area Mwanayamala, the middle class area Kimara and the upper class area Mikocheni. After finishing the quantitative study, 9 qualitative interviews were conducted with a representative selection of those answering the questionnaire. The interviews and questionnaires were conducted during November and December 2013 and all participants were guaranteed anonymity. Finding truthful information, getting education and entertainment was the most frequent sought gratifications from media usage. Media type, language and ownership were the medium characteristics most evidently affecting confidence. Religion, social status and interests were the individual characteristics most evidently affecting confidence. News media confidence turns out to be more about mutual understanding between the individual receiver and the sending medium, than perceived accuracy and independent monitoring of power.

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