Media freedom implies having an independent and diverse media with the ability to make editorial decisions free from political or economic influences.
In conjunction with fesmedia Africa, MISA Malawi also publishes the African Media Barometer Malawi – a general analysis of Malawi’s media landscape and press freedom trends.
Three-tier broadcasting system
MISA Malawi also actively campaigns for media law reform and institutional and policy changes that further an independent, pluralistic and sustainable three-tier system of broadcasting.
The three-tier system means having community, public and commercial broadcasting that provide content for local, regional and national audiences. It enhances diversity and can help combat the domination of state broadcasters and the exclusion of minority voices.
Community media is operated in the community, for the community, about the community and by the community. It is independent, free from political or commercial interference and can provide public platforms for debate and discussion, and also promote social agendas.
The reach of community media, particularly radio, means it provides information and a platform of expression to rural and remote, grassroots communities that may not be represented in other media. The main challenge faced by community radio in Malawi is the difficulty in sustaining themselves beyond initial donor seed money.
Public service broadcasting
Public service broadcasting is created, financed and controlled by the public, for the public. It is neither commercial nor state-owned, and is therefore free from political or commercial interference.
Public service broadcasting informs, educates and entertains. It is an essential part of a pluralistic, diverse broadcasting sector.
MISA Malawi is lobbying for the transformation of the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation from a state broadcaster into a public service broadcaster. It is also advocating for the independence of the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority.