Media under threat—Report
United States Agency for International Development Director of the Office of Democracy, Rights and Governance Jeff Skarin has said media practitioners in Malawi and the world are facing unprecedented challenges, ranging from declining revenue, security threats, misinformation, competition with social media to growing public distrust.
Skarin said this Wednesday during the launch of the second edition of the State of the Newsroom (SON) Report for Malawi (2022) at an event held in Lilongwe.
The report has pointed out that the problem of plummeting revenue volumes in print and electronic media continues to worry the media industry and the situation has been getting worse since the outbreak of Covid.
He said media practitioners play an important role in holding governments to account and directing public attention to issues such as corruption.
“Media practitioners have a vital role to play in stimulating governments to take action through the stories they publish; in some cases, the media can also become an instrument for disseminating false and inflammatory messages and values that do not promote respectable dialogue and discussion,” Skarin said.
The 2022 SON report has also indicated that civil society organisations in the country are primarily focused on what they can get from the media and not on how they can help strengthen the work of media practitioners.
Youth and Society Organisation Executive Director Charles Kajoloweka said the report aptly spells out the importance of the media in Malawi.
“As such, we are going to support the media in all its endeavours,” Kajoloweka said.