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UN challenges local media on elections coverage

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The United Nations has challenged the media in the country to do more in elections reporting ahead of the 2019 tripartite elections.

United Nations Development Programme Resident Coordinator, Maria Jose Torres, made the remarks yesterday after visiting Times Group headquarters in Blantyre.

Torres said people with disabilities and women need to be reached with elections messages for them to fully participate in voting and contest in the electoral positions.

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“We always have to be on the war for space so that people can vote freely. These should include people with disabilities and other minorities should have the space to exercise their right to choose leaders. I know you are doing enough but I encourage you to do more by inviting the citizenry to exercise their right,” she said.

Torres said UN values the role of the media in a society hence her visit to Times Group.

She also said Malawi’s media has grown in terms of reporting a true reflection of what is happening in the society.

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“We have read tough news about corruption, political scandals, killings and abductions of people with albinism, stories about women and children and again the media has provided voice to the voiceless. So my impression would be the media in Malawi is improving,” she said.

Torres started her mission in the country in February this year after replacing Mia Seppo, who completed her mission to Malawi in September last year.

Times Group’s Editor-In-Chief George Kasakula said the group is grateful that the UN Representative paid her first visit a few months after she started her mission.

“As one of the independent media giants in the country, (let me assure that) no one will be left out in electoral messages through our coverage,” he said.

For a third consecutive year, Times TV, a subsidiary of Times Group, was voted the best during the 2018 Media Institute of Southern African (Misa) Malawi Awards.

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