The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi chapter has urged government to protect journalists working with private media houses during the press briefing scheduled for Friday this week.
The call comes at a time when government has disclosed that President Peter Mutharika will on Friday have an audience with the media to articulate issues discussed at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
However, MISA observed that such conferences are not meant for the media but party zealots who come in large number to instill fear in journalists when asking questions.
MISA Malawi chairperson Thom Khanje disclosed that Mutharika’s prolonged stay in America and reports of his ill-health are likely to be issues that Malawians would want to know through journalists but they might anger party members.
Khanje added that the state has been also seen snubbing questions from journalists coming from private owned houses.
“The President is to discuss issues from UNGA and others, we are expecting that government is to ensure equality in handling the questions to all media houses who have been honored with invitation, we hope those invitations have been sent in good faith,” said Khanje.
Malawi journalists are sometimes harrassed by party members during press briefing when journalists demand an explanation from authorities.