One of the leading newspaper companies in Malawi, Nation Publications Limited (NPL), has embraced digital means of delivering news to offset the impact of Covid-19.
Speaking during a virtual conference on the future of journalism education in Southern Africa, NPL Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alfred Ntonga said the crisis has been a huge lesson and the company needed to adapt and sustain its operations.
He said the lockdown imposed in some countries including South Africa, where Malawian newspaper companies get printing materials, has posed serious challenges to its business.
“So, we needed to think of the means of surviving. In the absence of materials such as newsprint, we made an effort to grow our e-paper and the response has been overwhelming. We have also tried to monetise our social media platforms,” Ntonga said.
He also said most journalists had to leave the newsroom and work from home, a development that made the company use webinar sessions for planning of assignments and delivery of news.
Ntonga then said the company continues to invest a lot in Investigative Journalism to ensure transparency and accountability in the running of government business.
“IJ is an expensive endeavor. It requires a lot of skills and resources but we will continue doing it,” he said.
Ntonga was presenting on the topic ‘Maintaining Journalism Standards in Times of Crisis’ at a conference that has been organised by MISA Malawi, Namibia Media Trust and DW Akademie.