Media Advocacy: Print & Radio

Objective: Increase the output and quality of Tanzanian radio and print media related to conservation, especially investigative pieces on critical issues facing the Serengeti.

  • SPF has a history of successful journalism workshops, including field trips to national parks. Five such workshops have been held, with more than 60 journalists so far.
  • We have a core of motivated journalists and intend to support them with grants and awards.
  • This include radio which reaches local communities.


  • Stimulate key print and radio coverage through awards and grants for investigative journalism.
  • Develop of conservation desks within media companies that can assign stories and cover critical issues.
  • Educate Tanzanian media professionals on conservation concepts and urgent conservation issues.
  • Provide field experience in national parks and reserves.

Needs: This program needs funding for journalists’ travel and stipends. We will give assignments based on previous journalist quality. We need to provide continued support for distance communications with the journalist team, and for periodic brief journalist’s meetings when urgent updates and action are needed.


  • Stipends and travel for journalists’ assignments: $10,000 a year.
  • Periodic seminars for up to 20 journalists.  The cost per day of seminars is $3,000. This includes transport for journalists from across Tanzania, venues, speakers, meals, transportation, and overnight accommodations for multi-day seminars (recommended).
  • Continuous contact by SPF staff, at a rate of approximately $100 per month.

Evaluation:  Measure new programs and articles produced, taking note of article length and quality. Evaluate social media sites of news and radio to assess engagement and online comments.

More details

See below for a workshop schedule for September, 2017


The Conservation Journalism program was built to address a critical lack of information on the role and issues of conservation. Now, through a series of ongoing workshops, we have created a network of trained, knowledgeable journalists in both print and electronic media. Five workshops with three field trips to national parks have been held (as of October 2017), giving a strong core of support. More are planned.

The Tanzanian Journalists for Conservation is a registered organization created by SPF that is the core of a new community under the mentorship.  Along with other International partners and SPF, its goal is to expand the community and provide ongoing workshops, social media and online support, field trips, research opportunities, recognition, and awards. The organization includes female journalists as well as young journalists who will be mentored by senior journalists from the Industry.

Expansion of our work

A key goal is to encourage and support Tanzanian media to establish Conservation Desks in their organizations, to recognize the importance of conservation as a national economic and development strategy, and to offer regular reporting on conservation issues and positive conservation efforts.

SPF Director, Meyasi Meshilieck, was invited to attend the national Media Council of Tanzania awards ceremony to present an award and certificate to the best journalist in Tourism and Conservation category. This role will continue to expand.

 Sample Workshop


September 27, 28 & 29,  2017

Three-Day Workshop for Journalists in English & Swahili


  • Improved Journalist Craft Skills
  • Research & sourcing training
  • Radio storytelling skills
  • Audio reports for Social Media


  • Wildlife & Local Communities
  • Human/Livestock/Wildlife Conflict
  • Climate Change
  • Population & Wildlife
  • Conservation/ Sustainable Tourism


  • Tira Shubart, Wildlife Workshop
  • Sue Phillips, Wildlife Workshop
  • Meyasi Meshilieck, Serengeti Preservation Foundation
  • TANAPA expert
  • TAWIRI animal behavior expert
  • African Environment Guide (degrees in Wildlife & Conservation)
  • Carbon Tanzania expert
  • Cattle/Wildlife expert
  • TATO
  • OIKOS East Africa

**Journalists will be asked to arrive at the workshop with an idea of a relevant story and some initial research. We will refer to these stories throughout the workshop, work on sources, scripting and write them up as Blogs or edit them as Radio presentations on the third & final day.


Radio, Video & Web examples

 Field Notes online & hard copies to keep

Interactive exercises & discussions


8.30 start

Introductions & Agenda Setting:

Who is Your Audience? Understanding Audiences in Tanzania

  • Urban/Rural; their concerns
  • The Community Audience
  • Media habits in Tanzania

Engaging Your Audience in Conservation Issues

  • Why should they care?
  • Economic & Social effects
  • Having a conversation with your audience

Discussion:  What is Public Interest Journalism?

  • Duty of informing our audience
  • Holding officials/politicians/commercial concerns to account

LUNCH 12.30


Effects of Livestock on the Environment & Wildlife

Journalist Sources: Finding Correct Information

  • Where to find reliable sources
  • Cross checking sources & Verification
  • Primary & Secondary Sources
  • When is something confirmed or unaccounted?
  • No Speculation—be clear on ‘What we don’t know’

DISCUSSION: Examples of Journalists’ Work


  • Who to interview & requesting interviews
  • How to research interviews & decide questions
  • How to deal with requests for questions in advance
  • When interviewees ask for payment

Decision Makers & Authority Figures: Holding them to account

  • Questioning them on behalf of your audience
  • Your background research

DISCUSSION: How the media has covered the Maasi displacement—fact & fiction.

Social Media Platforms & Your Audience

  • How to Use Social Media for Conservation/Wildlife Issues
  • Examples of Effective Social Media in C/W awareness
  • Using Facebook
  • What’s App & Twitter
  • SMS & Mobile Phones
  • Photos for social media—tips!


  • Storytelling for Blogs
  • Photos for Blogs

Discussion of topics for journalists’ stories this week.

4.30 Finish and attend ARUSHA MEMORIAL SERVICE to celebrate the life of late Wayne Derek Lotter at Dorobo Camp Site in Olasiti.

DAY TWO: THURSDAY 28 September

8.30 start

Investigative Journalism on Wildlife & Conservation Issues

  • Public interest
  • How to research
  • Risk to Journalists & Sources
  • Examples of investigations participants have done

Sharing Stories & Research among community/local stations

  • Viable method of serving the audience?
  • Practical ways to share stories
  • Joining together for wider investigations
  • Practical steps for establishing contacts between workshop journalists

Numbers & Statistics: What Do They Really Mean?

  • Using numbers simply & effectively
  • Using numbers to help understanding
  • Practical examples

Using Radio Effectively

  • Microphone technique
  • Using Natural Sound in your reports
  • Audio for Interviews
  • Storytelling in Audio

GUEST EXPERT: Game Counts & How to Interpret the Data (tba)

Ethics for Journalists

  • Balance & Objectivity
  • Fairness & Accuracy
  • Impartiality

Legal Issues & Journalism

  • Understanding Media Guidelines in TZ

Getting the Most from Press Conferences:

  • Research & background
  • Listening to other journalists’ questions
  • Follow up questions

Journalists to outline the story they cover for a live Blog exercise

4.30 Finish


7.30 Start

In the vehicle en route:

Risk Assessments for covering Wildlife/Conservation Stories

  • How to do a Risk Assessment

In the Park: Wildlife Expert: Ranger with first hand stories of poaching/snares


  • Sharing Blogs with group
  • Analysing Blogs

In vehicle home: Goal Setting: Reading, Listening & Viewing Your Own Work

18.00 Finish

Stories from the participants when completed to be used by the journalists and contributed to Sue & Tira for inclusion for Workshop report.