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Media coverage of climate change information in Tanzania

Emmanuel Frank Elia (Department of Information Studies, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania)

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication

ISSN: 2514-9342

Article publication date: 26 February 2019

Issue publication date: 24 June 2019




The purpose of this study is to investigate on themes covered by media and factors affecting coverage of climate change information in Tanzania.


In all, 85 journalists from five local media were identified using snowballing and purposive methods where quantitative methods were applied.


The results show nearly a half (49 per cent) of the journalists yet to receive training on climate change, with the majority (77 per cent) of organisations providing such training being non-local. The majority (79.8 per cent) of media houses lack editorial policies. Findings show journalists mostly cover information on climate impact and adaptation (49.3 per cent) followed by weather and climate trends (33.8 per cent), while the least covered topics are on renewable energy and climate and poverty (1.4 per cent).

Practical implications

The results imply journalists lack training on climate change. This may result into low and poor quality coverage of climate change information and inadequate public awareness and understanding. The study concludes that challenges in verifying information from a source, media lack of editorial policy and little exposure and access to specific internet climate change information sources may affect public agenda setting, coverage and adaptation to climate change. It is suggested that a policy be established to foster on access to climate information through frequent short training which expose journalists to new knowledge and networking.


This study contributes to literature and knowledge on climate themes reported in developing countries and factors influencing coverage of climate change.



The author acknowledges Dr Michael Andindilile from the University of Dar es Salaam’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) for editing and proofreading the manuscript.

Research funding: The author did not receive any funding to conduct the research. The author used his meagre own funds.


Elia, E.F. (2019), "Media coverage of climate change information in Tanzania", Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, Vol. 68 No. 4/5, pp. 258-274.



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