Update on suspension of ‘phone-in programmes’
The Chapter would like to inform the membership that it has decided to seek the High Court’s intervention over the decision by the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA), to suspend phone-in programmes.
MACRA suspended phone-in programmes on all broadcasters on 7th June, 2019, and has not changed its position on the matter despite several attempts by the Chapter and media outlets to amicably resolve the issue.
The Chapter has partnered Times, Zodiak and Capital Radio seeking the Court’s declaration that the decision of MACRA violates constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the press, among other rights, and that the procedure followed in making the decision was improper as no consultations were made with affected parties as required by law.
The matter was filed at the High Court, Lilongwe Registry, on 2nd September, 2019.
The Court has set aside 16th September, 2019 to hear the application for a temporary injunction stopping MACRA from implementing the decision pending a final (or other) decision of the Court.
It remains our hope that MACRA will share our intention of amicably resolving the matter without resorting to litigation. We believe that, with the collaboration of all players in the media, we can as a nation create an environment that fosters healthy debate among citizens while at the same time ensuring that media houses remain true to their responsibility of maintaining expected standards.
MISA Malawi Chairperson Teresa Ndanga
Cell: +265 999 247 911 or email: email@example.com
MISA Malawi National Director Aubrey Chikungwa
Cell: +265 999 327 311 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About MISA Malawi
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi 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.