Dr. Francis Ng'atigwa



Completed Project

The Media in Society: Religious Radio Stations, Socio-Religious Discourse and National Cohesion in Tanzania


This PHD project was published and is available online:


ng'atigwaThis study investigates on the one hand the broadcasting activities of Radio Maria Tanzania (owned by a Christian organisation) and Radio Imaan (owned by a Muslim community) while on the other hand identifying the meanings which audiences construct in relation to national cohesion in Tanzania. Specifically, the study answers five theoretical and empirical questions: (1) What informs the packaging of the programmes of Radio Maria Tanzania and Radio Imaan? (2) What are the contents of programmes broadcasted by the two radio stations? (3) How do the two radio stations deal with the socio-religious discourse prevailing in Tanzania? (4) What kinds of meanings do audiences construct from the broadcasting activities of Radio Maria Tanzania and Radio Imaan? (5) What are the implications of the constructed meanings on national cohesion in Tanzania? Data were generated through questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, qualitative content analysis, discourse analysis and participation in listening to programmes of the two radio stations. Five central conclusions have emerged. Firstly, the two radio stations serve their audiences in spiritual and material needs.This approach informs the packaging of programmes. Secondly, there is an exclusive element in the contents of the programmes of the two radio stations. Thirdly, the framing of issues in some programmes of the two radio stations provoke audiences and cause socio-religious tensions and mistrust among audiences in Tanzania. Fourthly, discourses on "mfumokristo"(Kiswahili: Christian hegemony), "kipindi cha mateso ya kimfumo kwa kanisa Tanzania" (Kiswahili: Systematic persecution of the Church in Tanzania) and "udini" (Kiswahili: religionism) have amplified and become interpretative and expressive tools in the public domain. Finally, while at an individual level Christians and Muslims maintain friendly relations however at a community level there are incidents which destabilize national cohesion.