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IMF tips journalists on reporting inflation

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has tipped business journalists to follow publications released by the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) and inquire from relevant authorities if they are to report objectively and fairly on inflation and economic forecasts.

The call was made in Lilongwe on Tuesday during an interface meeting a team from the IMF, currently visiting the bank, had with business and economics journalists.

OG Research Director and Senior Policy Expert, Marek Petrus, who was part of the IMF team, said, while the media have demonstrated knowledge and appreciation of the works of RBM, there are some gaps in how the issues are taken up and relayed to the public.

“It seems to me that the media does not pay enough attention to the statements coming from the central bank. It seems to me that there some gaps in what RBM is communicating and what is grasped by the media [and shared with] the public.

“When it comes to the technical abilities and technical capacity to understand central bank’s messages, I would say that members of the media would benefit from some specialised trainings or more interpretations from the central bank itself,” Petrus said.

RBM Communications and Protocol Manager, Eric Hanjahanja, said the central bank organised the interface because journalists play a very important role in transmitting messages to the general public.

“For us to conduct our monetary policy, we cannot do that in isolation and media are one of the vehicles that help us transmit what we want to communicate to the general public,” Hanjahanja said.

He added that the central bank is on a drive to simplify its messages for the public to make informed decisions.

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