Since early 2000, MISA Malawi has been campaigning for greater broadcasting diversity in Malawi to combat the domination of state broadcasters and the exclusion of other voices. The Chapter advocates for a three-tier system of broadcasting: public service, commercial and community, as outlined in the African Charter on Broadcasting.
Community media is operated in the community, for the community, about the community and by the community. It is independent, free from political or commercial interference and can therefore facilitate public platforms for debate and discussion and promote social agendas.
The reach of community media, particularly radio, means it provides information and a platform of expression to remote, grassroots communities that may not be represented in other media. The main challenges community radio face in Malawi lack of capacity to sustain themselves beyond donor seed money.
Public Service Broadcasting
Public service broadcasting is created, financed and controlled by the public, for the public. It is neither commercial nor state-owned, and is therefore free from political or commercial interference.
Public service broadcasting informs, educates and entertains. It is an essential part of a pluralistic, diverse broadcasting sector.
MISA Malawi, as any MISA Chapter across southern Africa, currently operates based on a three year strategic plan that focuses on two broad thematic areas, namely Media Monitoring and Research and Advocacy Campaigns. The Advocacy component dwells on three main areas namely Freedom of Expression and Access to Information Campaign, Broadcasting Diversity – under which NAMISA campaigns for a three tier system of broadcasting i.e. community, commercial and public, and finally campaign for the repeal of insult laws.
MISA Malawi runs a broadcasting diversity programme under which it advocates for a three-tier broadcasting system, that is public, commercial and community broadcasting. Under the broadcast programme, MISA Malawi is lobbying for the transformation of State broadcasters into public service broadcasters and independence of Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA).