Media practitioners in the country have been urged to base their news reports on evidence to avoid providing wrong information to the general public.
The call was made by the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Mr. Grey Nyandule Phiri when he officially closed a 3 day training workshop on Support to Parliament and Media to Strengthen Governance on Agriculture sector (SPMSGAg) in Lilongwe on Thursday.
Nyandule Phiri said good journalistic reporting should be based on evidence for the public to read and hear better news saying reports without research lack credibility with the public getting wrong information.
He said journalists as the fourth estate can set an agenda for discussion since they have power and voice to change behaviour and strengthen it.
The PS assured journalists that his office is ready to welcome them anytime they want information on how to improve agriculture as a sector looking at poverty which still remains in the rural areas especially on women and other disadvantaged groups.
He then thanked the European Union (EU) and its partners for working progressively towards supporting a five year “Kulima program” for farmers to increase income, employment and food security in Malawi.
In her remarks, Team Leader for SPMSGAg, Dr. Terry Davies, said the training workshop is the first step in the SPMSGAg capacity building programme of activity aimed at strengthening governance in agriculture and related sectors.
Dr. Davies said the Malawi Parliament has a new cohort of MPs and these must work with the media in order to comprehend the issues they have in agriculture sector in Malawi.
She said the evidence based approach to governance strengthening is based on the premise that better governance, better policies and better decision-making produce results.
One of training workshop participants, Joseph Mazizi of Zodiak Broadcasting Station in Salima thanked the organisers for considering taking on board journalists from the districts saying this is an eye opener to them.
Mazizi assured the organisers that the journalists will interpret whatever they have been trained into a reality by making sure that their reports have evidence based approaches for the news to be credible.
Story by Vincent Gunde