Towards Media Independence in Malawi and Africa

Topics: Democracy, Mass media, Newspaper, Africa, Journalism / Pages: 6 (1363 words) / Published: Oct 15th, 2013
Towards media independence in Malawi and Africa

A free and open media remains a very critical ingredient to both aspiring, and democratic societies in the world. A free and independent media is not a luxury, but a necessity and experience shows that it is possible in Malawi and Africa in general to have one. How this can be achieved is the subject this paper wants to answer in consultation with various papers other scholars have done on the subject.

Levi Zeleza Manda (2007: 245) says that due to the media’s potential to influence public opinion and to some extent the political choices that people make, their control and ownership is more often than not, sought after by people who hold or aspire to assume political power. Both in Africa and world over, journalism has come under fire due to a few disgruntled politicians that have wanted to make gains from such an association. Due to their ability to reach out to multitudes with instant impact, they have been abused by too many.

Political biases that are exerted by such media owners and controllers of mass media limit the ability of the mass media to inform members of the public about the activities of political actors provide a leveled ground for public debate and development.

Malawi’s media has policies and guidelines, they claim to teach, educate and inform. But is MBC’s presentation and programming reflective of this?

Political interference still remains a big problem facing Malawi media. It is now tradition in Malawi and of course many other African states that ruling parties (Parties that form governments) that use national broadcasters as their mouth piece. According to Justin Malewezi (Nation News Paper: 2013), Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) is one such example. Though Malewezi only makes mention of the 1993 period when Malawi Congress Party was on the throne of leadership, the trend has identical to all other post democracy regimes of United Democratic Front (UDF), Democratic Progressive

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