MISA hopes MBC will be reformed under Kasakula

MISA Malawi says new Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Director General George Kasakula has a challenging task of steering MBC away from politics to the legally and professionally expected realm of public interest.

Teresa Ndanga, MISA Malawi Chairperson, has said this in a statement today following Kasakula’s appointment as MBC boss.

Ndanga noted that Kasakula’s appointment comes at a time Malawians continue to complain about the partisan nature of programming by the public broadcaster.

According to Ndanga, MBC requires a strong, professional and law-abiding Director General.

“We therefore expect Mr. Kasakula to follow the law to the letter as he takes up the challenging but very important task of steering MBC from muddy waters of politics to the legally and professionally expected realm of public interest. We wish him well,” said Ndanga.

She noted that the Communications Act of 2016 provides a good legal and operational support to every individual who occupies the high office of DG at the public broadcaster.

Among others, the Act states that MBC shall encourage free and informed opinion on all matters of public interest.

The Communications Act also provides that MBC shall function without any political bias and independently of any person or entity support the democratic process; and refrain from broadcasting any matter expressing its opinion or opinion of the Corporation, on current affairs or on matters of public policy – provided that the Corporation shall not be restrained from making editorial comments.

The act further requires MBC to provide balanced coverage of any elections; and operate with regards to the public interest.

For many years, MBC has departed from its obligations under the act. The public broadcaster for years has been taken as a lapdog for ruling parties with its news and programming being used to attack opposition politicians and civil society groups.

 

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