Skilled and professional community broadcasters are crucial for transparent and accountable local government structures in Malawi.
MISA Malawi National Governing Council (NGC) member Mandy Pondani said this when she opened a five-day training for community broadcasters at Malawi Sun Hotel in Blantyre on Monday, December 2, 2019.
The training, called ‘Essential Journalism Skills for community broadcasters,’ will run from Monday, December 2 to Friday, December 6 and has drawn participants from Central and Southern Region parts of the country.
Pondani said a larger percentage of Malawi’s national budget goes to local councils and that the country needed vibrant community radio stations to monitor and track the use of the resources channeled to the councils.
“We need to ensure that people working in community media outlets have basic knowledge and skills in journalism. Only skilled professional broadcasters can empower local communities and effectively participate in national development,” Pondani said.
MISA Malawi considers community broadcasters as a voice for the voiceless with the potential to effectively demand transparency and accountability from local level structures.
The organisation has lined up a series of trainings to build capacity of journalists and communications practitioners, including community broadcasters, which started in October and expected to wind up in December 2020.
The current training has attracted a total of 12 broadcasters from Central and Southern Region community radio stations.
“Most community broadcasters are just volunteers who are not trained journalists and those who underwent formal journalism education still lack some basic skills in journalism or broadcasting. It is for this reason that MISA Malawi introduced the ‘Essential Journalism Skills Module’ to enable community broadcasters gain the much needed valuable knowledge and skills in broadcasting,” she said.
Essential Journalism Skills Module is one of four pioneer modules that MISA Malawi and DW Akademie developed for the recently launched MISA Malawi Training Centre.
DW Akademie, Germany’s leading organisation for media development and Deutsche Welle’s centre of excellence for education and knowledge transfer, has been providing both technical and financial support for the roll out of the MISA Malawi Training Centre.