Business Times Limited Institutional profile

Business Times Limited Institutional profile

Date: June 26, 2013
  • SHARE:

“We have owned the 8th March for almost ten years now. This is in commemoration of International Women’s Days, whereby women from all departments, collect news, edit/proof read and produce ‘Majira’ Newspaper”.

Business Times Limited (BTL) is one of the ten media houses working with Gender Links on the Centres of Excellence (COE) for gender in the media project. Based in Dar es Salaam, BTL covers the whole country and does not target any specific group. BTL signed an MOU with GL in 2009, showing its commitment to the COE project. Management has shown remarkable support for this project, hence the positive gains towards gender equality.

The media house is making efforts to make the work environment a comfortable one for both women and men. Working with GL, BTL has a gender policy. This helps in creating an enabling environment for gender equality to flourish. The Board of BTL consists of five people. Out of those, four are men and one is a woman, who is the head of Finance and Administration. The media house acknowledges that a lot still needs to be done on this front to ensure parity at a high level. The same sentiments were expressed during the verification process. This gender gap at the board level does not mean that gender is not a key issue at BTL. Management has engaged with GL on how they can address this gap.

BTL is aware of and takes account of international, regional and national commitments to gender equality seriously. This is evidenced by the different initiatives the media house often comes up with. For example, every year during 8th March, BTL commemorates International Women’s Day. All women employees at the media house participate in the production ‘Majira’ Newspaper. They go out to collect stories as well as take photographs. They edit, print as well as proof read before publishing the newspaper of 8th March.
Business Times Limited (BTL) is a private company started in 1988 with only two papers. Business Times and “Majira”. Since then, they have introduced a third newspapers title. The company also owns a Radio Station – Times 100.5 FM and a courier for the newspapers from other media houses. They target East African Kiswahili and English readers and listerners.

According to their progress score, there are improvements in terms of the BTL set targets for achieving gender balance at all levels by 2015. “We are really trying hard to achieve at least a reasonable percentage,” says Sophie Mshangama, who was the gender champion before she was transferred to the Circulation department. Although Sophie has moved departments, she always makes time to support the new gender champion Julieth Lamosai.

“We have owned the 8th March of every year for almost ten years now. This is in commemoration of International Women’s Day. Women from all departments participate in news collection, editing as well as printing and proof reading. They go further to producing ‘Majira’ Newspaper,” says Sophie Mshangama, who was the Human Resource Officer, during the establishment of COE in Tanzania.

BTL is challenged by a shortage of staff, especially professional ones. This is mostly in the newsrooms. To overcome the situation, BTL has introduced first, a system to support employees who want to further their studies, by offering financial support. They only have to show evidence that they have been accepted into a training institution. This has encouraged many employees to empower themselves and then take up more senior positions. Second, BTL has a deliberate promotions system to ensure that long serving employees are rewarded. Employees are promoted after serving from a set period. This is also done through merit. One should prove that she/he deserves the promotion.

BTL’s life has tangibly and demonstrably changed as a result of Gender Link’s intervention. This has been evidenced by stories which are written from a human rights perspective; challenge gender stereotypes; language is also gender sensitive. “We are doing well when it comes to encouraging female journalists to work in non-traditional areas of reporting such as politics, economics as well as technical sides of the job such as photojournalism. This has been strongly evidenced, during the commemoration of the International Women’s Day, when the mentioned topics are dealt with by all women employees” says Julieth Lamosai the Humam Resource of BTL.

BTL has characteristics that differ from other institutions. The commemoration of International Women’s Day by engaging all women employees in production of ‘Majira’ Newspaper, is an account of how Gender Links is transforming the life of Media Houses in Tanzania.

Underscoring its commitment to gender equality, BTL has already adopted Gender and HIV/AIDS Policy, Gender and Media Policy, Country Regulations and House Style. With HIV/AIDS, BTL has established a special committee/peer group which deals with HIV/AIDS. With Gender Policy, BTL has started a women’s income project within the company which serves the company’s staff as well as people outside the company.



Comment on Business Times Limited Institutional profile

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *