Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Executive Masters in Media Leadership and Innovation (EMMLI)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Denis Galava


Graduate School of Media and Communications


This research investigated the integration of user-generated content (UGC) in Tanzanian print newspapers and its effect on news reporting in the digital era. UGC, comprising text, images, videos, and audio created by users, has gained prominence due to the rise of social media and citizen journalism. The research employed a mixedmethods approach, starting with content analysis of a selected Tanzanian print newspaper over six days to quantify the prevalence and characteristics of UGC. Qualitative interviews with key stakeholders, including a newspaper editor, a reporter, readers, and the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT), provide additional insights. The newspaper incorporates an average of seven UGC items daily, primarily in the form of photos and text from readers or social media. The transformative impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on the media landscape is acknowledged by the editor, who emphasizes the need for newspapers to adapt. UGC enables increased citizen participation, offering diverse perspectives and supplementing limited resources, with advantages including cost-effectiveness, real-time reporting, and enhanced engagement. Challenges arise regarding the effect of UGC on news reporting quality and credibility, with readers exhibiting skepticism for newspapers' verification processes. The Media Council of Tanzania advocates for the development of editorial guidelines for using UGC, editor training, and media monitoring to address misinformation and ethical concerns associated with UGC. Challenges faced by print newspapers in utilizing UGC include a lack of verification processes, technical issues, and the risk of compromising editorial standards. Balancing participatory journalism with credibility is crucial and similarly the a need for guidelines and oversight mechanisms to address challenges and uphold journalistic standards. The study anticipates continued UGC prevalence in Tanzanian news reporting, emphasizing the necessity for regulatory measures, ethical considerations, and collaboration among regulatory bodies, newspapers, and readers to shape the future of news reporting in Tanzania.