Zodiak under fire from MACRA over demo coverage

The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has accused privately owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station of potentially “inciting violence” through its coverage of Thursday’s post-election demonstrations.

In a letter to Zodiak, MACRA Director General Godfrey Itaye said Zodiak Radio Station dedicated 40 percent of its coverage to the 4th July demonstrations.

Godfrey Itaye wrote the letter

Itaye noted that Zodiak diverted from its usual broadcasting schedule and instead focused on providing updates   of the protests.

“MACRA has observed that the manner in which you have conducted the broadcast may be deemed sensetionalization of the said demonstrations with the potential of inciting violence,” Itaye said.

The regulator said it recognises and encourages freedom of the press but also ensures responsible reporting of events that could endanger public safety.

Meanwhile, MACRA has summoned Zodiak to a meeting at its offices today to discuss the radio’s coverage of the demonstrations.

Civil Society Organisations conducted the protests to push for the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah over her commission’s handling of the May 21 elections.

More demonstrations are expected to happen today.

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