Media Framing of Presidential Candidates in Tanzanian Multi-Party Elections of 1995 and 2005: A Case of Selected Newspapers

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School of Communication, Daystar University


The researcher set out to find out the influence of multi-party system on the framing of the presidential candidates on issues by the Daily News and The Guardian in 1995 and 2005. This study compared the framing of the presidential candidates’ campaign on issues between the first multi-party election in 1995 and that of 2005, ten years after the adoption of multi-partism covered by a government and private owned newspapers. Content analysis was the method used in this research. The unit of analysis was the sentence framing a presidential candidate. The total population of the sentences was 1,240 from 230 newspapers randomly selected from a total of 300 newspapers. The sentences were categorized in the following categories: governance, economic, health, self-related, gender and social issues. The study found out that despite the introduction of multi-partism the media was minimally influenced on framing presidential candidates, because both newspapers put salience on the ruling party candidate by first placing him on front pages, framing him positively and strongly on issues of governance and economy in 1995 and on issues of economy and self-related issues in 2005. Second, there were changes on the kind of attributions made to the specific frames used on presidential candidates. However, gender was given minimal salience in 2005 when there was a female candidate. For over thirty years the Tanzanian media exercised their operations under a one-party system, which informed then the framing of the presidential candidate. Yet, ten years into multi-partism, thus democracy, the media appeared not to have learned how to exercise freedom of expression accorded by the democratic space. The ruling party candidate still dominated the framing of the election news.




Media, Framing, Presidential, Candidates, Tanzanian, Multi-Party, Elections, Newspapers


Mushi, Janeth John (2010). Media Framing of Presidential Candidates in Tanzanian Multi-Party Elections of 1995 and 2005: A Case of Selected Newspapers. School of Communication, Daystar University: Thesis