By Rose Mahorya
Mzuzu, Mana: Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter has called on individual journalists and their respective institutions to adhere to self regulation in order for them to gain trust of the public which they serve.
MISA Malawi Chapter Chairperson, Teresa Ndanga, was speaking in Mzuzu during an interactive meeting which her institution held with members of Nyika Media Club and representatives of civil society organisations.
Ndanga said it is important for individual journalists as well as their institutions to be professional so that they are accountable to the general public and their sources of information.
“Even though the media is mostly considered untouchable by the general public, the media needs to be accountable to the people they serve, therefore, it is important that they adhere to their professional ethics at all times,” said Ndanga.
According to Ndanga, as one way of enhancing media self regulation, the institute is working hand in hand with Media Council of Malawi (MCM) on how complaints against the media should be handled while also ensuring that the media personnel and their institutions are protected.
She further said the media prefers to be regulated by the parent media body which is MCM other than government which she said has its own interests to protect.
Ndanga said leaving government to regulate the media would be a disadvantage for the industry.
“Media self regulation will help to provide check s and balances to government and this can only be achieved if government does not interfere with media industry.
“Self regulation will also help reduce complaints or law suits against the media because there will be a body to address grievances which may arise between both the media and the public,” she said.
In his remarks, Chairperson for Nyika Media Club, Joseph Mwale, urged journalists to be as professional as possible saying journalism is a career which fame is dependent on reputation building.
Mwale then commended MISA Malawi Chapter for reminding the journalists on the importance of being professional and ethical.