What We Do
MISA operates as a regional programme with national chapters forming its membership in 11 southern African countries. MISA is also an organised group of activists advocating for the specific social agenda of media freedom and freedom of expression.
The institute has also gone beyond reporting by providing practical assistance to media practitioners and houses in the form of funds for legal defence as part of its promotion of media freedom. It has also campaigned for the repeal of laws that hinder the enjoyment of free expression and media freedom while promoting the enactment of legislation that promotes access to information and the professionalisation of media such as self-regulation for print media and the establishment of independent broadcasting regulatory authorities for the regulation of broadcast media.
MISA’s mission is to play a leading role in creating an environment of media freedom and freedom of expression that promotes independence, pluralism and diversity of views and opinions as well as media sustainability, competency and professionalism.
MISA Malawi works with different stakeholders including journalists and media institutions to, among other things, improve the skills base and professionalism of media workers, promote and facilitate effective use and access to the media by all sections of society and maintain an environment conducive to relevant and effective advocacy campaigns on media freedom and freedom of expression. Our work includes:
MISA Malawi monitors the media landscape to identify, document and publicise both positive and negative developments around media freedom and freedom of expression. The Chapter also monitors coverage of specific issues to inform capacity building initiatives for the sector. Our monitoring largely centres on two main areas:
- Media freedom and Freedom of Expression monitoring which leads to issuance of alerts and communiqués on both positive and negative developments within the sector and the nation in general
- Media coverage of elections to ensure issue based reporting and improve the skills base and professionalism of media workers
MISA Malawi gives out awards every year as part of the celebrations to mark World Press Freedom Day. The awards are aimed at motivating journalists to improve coverage of specialised fields such as health, agriculture, child rights or human rights and at the same time provide the Chapter with an opportunity to assess gaps in the sector. The awards have grown from seven in 2003 to 49 to date.
MISA Malawi believes that a “less informed and competent media is a hazard to society.” The Chapter therefore partners with different stakeholders to build the capacity of the media and ensure that the sector is knowledgeable, accountable and professional.
Our training programmes target both reporters and editors from all types of media houses, including community and faith-based. The training programmes include issue-based elections reporting, child rights and health, among others.
MISA Malawi carries out research on a regular basis to inform its advocacy work. Most of our research focuses on media law and the state of media freedom and free expression. But we also carry out research on media coverage of specific topics and issues such child health and child rights.
MISA Malawi, like the MISA family across the region, strives for a free, independent and diverse media sector and advocacy is a key component of our work. Media monitoring and research informs our advocacy work. Our current advocacy work is on Access to Information (ATI), broadcasting diversity and law reform, with a focus on decriminalisation of free speech.