News / Africa

Malawi Media Accused of Bias in Pre-Election Coverage

Elections campaign posters are plastered on a tree on May 15, 2014, in Zomba ahead of Malawi's Tripartite Elections.
Elections campaign posters are plastered on a tree on May 15, 2014, in Zomba ahead of Malawi's Tripartite Elections.
Lameck Masina
As Malawi readies for elections on May 20, media watchdogs have been monitoring Malawi journalists in the election campaign period. One of them is the Institute for War and Peace Reporting or IWPR. It is conducting a monitoring project that so far has released two reports showing a distinct media bias. But media organizations have disputed the findings.

The media monitoring is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the British Department for International Development.

Media outlets under scrutiny in Malawi include the country’s only two daily newspapers, state-owned and privately owned radio and TV stations, online publications and postings on social media like Twitter and Facebook.
 
“The whole essence is to help the media and tell them that there are certain things they need to do to ensure that their coverage is fair. We are looking at all political candidates that are in the race because it’s a tri-party election,” said Cheu Mita, project manager at IWPR in Malawi.

In its latest report, the organization said the media has been biased, giving more coverage to ruling People’s Party presidential candidate Joyce Banda than the other 11 presidential candidates.

“For example, MBC Radio and MBC TV is pro-PP and cover PP more with a positive tone. Times TV would also cover PP, but with a negative tone. And then you look at Joy radio, we found that Joy is pro-UDF [opposition United Democratic Front] and anti-PP, and that is a fact,” stated Edrinnie Kayambazinthu, a lecturer at the University of Malawi and presenter of the findings.

Brian Ligomeka, the managing editor at the Times Group which owns a number of newspapers and Times TV,  told VOA the findings are misleading.

“Their findings are completely wrong and questionable. We at Times Group we have been objective," he insisted, " and what we report are facts and I am surprised that they are saying that we report negatively about the ruling People’s Party (PP).

"What is their definition of negative news? What is their definition of positive news? When they report that Khumbo Kachale [vice president] has resigned from PP, is that negative news?" he asked, "First of all they should give us a clear definition of negative news before making such misleading reports."

Ligomeka also has trashed the report’s findings showing that media outlets have been giving more coverage to the presidential race than to the races of parliamentarians and councilors.  

“If the councilors and parliamentary candidates are silent and are not campaigning and are not doing things that are not newsworthy, do you want us to create news for them?  We are covering most presidential candidates because they are the ones busy campaigning. So we will not create news for the councilors just for the sake of it. We are not in the business of creativity. We are in the business of reporting facts,” he said.
 
Mita said the organization is expected to release another report soon after the elections.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid