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Press briefings should not be turned into political rallies

Ndanga
31 Jan, 2019
Press conferences should be limited to relevant technocrats or officials and people directly responsible for the presser.

MISA Malawi has noted with concern the conduct by some political leaders who hold press briefings in the presence of their political supporters.

MISA Malawi appreciates the openness that several political parties have shown by being proactive in the provision of information. This is why we commend those political leaders who have been open to the media by among others calling for press conferences. These interactions are encouraged especially as we draw close to the May 2019 elections.

We have however noted that some political parties including the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and newly registered United Transformation Movement (UTM) have not taken heed of our calls to keep to the confines of a press briefing. They have continued to hold press conferences in the presence of party supporters which creates a hostile environment such that oftentimes journalists are forced to self-censor and limit themselves to asking softer questions. Memories are still fresh of the persecution that journalists who brave such hostile environments have gone through.

Press conferences should be limited to relevant technocrats or officials and people directly responsible for the presser.

MISA Malawi shall in future advise its membership to boycott such press briefings because a guaranteed free environment for the practice of journalism is one of our critical function areas. We also want to ensure the safety of our members.

We would also like to encourage journalists to maintain the zeal and passion for the profession so as to provide Malawians with information that would help them make informed decisions during the May elections.

About MISA Malawi 

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi chapter was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.

Media contacts

MISA Malawi Chairperson Teresa Ndanga
Cell: +265 999 247 911 or email teresa.temweka@gmail.com

MISA Malawi National Director Aubrey Chikungwa
Cell: +265 999 327 311 or email info@misamalawi.org

About MISA

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1992. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.

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Our #MtolankhaniHouse hosted a meeting on how #CommunityMedia can support Early Childhood Development (ECD) in #Malawi. Community media managers met with the Ministry of Gender. Two parties discussed how community radio stations can produce quality & impactful programmes on ECD. https://t.co/fOfMgQ4PXu misamalawi photo
"Journalists and ordinary citizens should never censor themselves for fear of being arrested for allegedly ‘insulting’ the President"
#MediaFreedom #FreedomOfExpression
https://t.co/nT6Se0OvA3
MPs in #Malawi on Tuesday (29/11/22) amended section 4 of the Protected Flag, Emblems & Names Act of 1967 by removing the 'President' from the Act.
Minister of Justice Titus Mvalo told the media that with the name President protected, the Act criminalises #FreeSpeech https://t.co/dSE5n7PnQl
misamalawi photo