Sunday, 6 October 2013

Online publications sign for media code of conduct

Justice Mponda of Malawi Voice, Bright Sonani of MediaCorp, Harris Potani
of MEC, Lucky Mkandawire of Nyasatimes and Henry Mvula of Maravi Post
Four online publications have signed for and promised to abide by the Media Code of Conduct on Reporting Elections in the course of their duties as the country prepares for tripartite polls on May 20, 2014.

The signing took place in Mzuzu at the end of the two and half day training workshop on reporting elections which the Malawi Electoral Commission organised for journalists from the Northern Region.

The four signatories are Malawi Voice, Maravi Post, Nyasatimes and MediaCorp Ltd who intend to rollout mobile journalism whereby they will be disseminating news on an sms platform. The four join other 35 institutions that have already signed for the media code of conduct.

In speech, MEC Deputy Chief Elections Officer, Mr Harris Potani said the signing of the media code of conduct by the four media outlets symbolised that the Commission was broadening its base of stakeholders.

Mr Potani said the Commission valued every contribution by any stakeholder towards the 2014 elections and expressed hope that the four institutions will leave up to their pledge.

“It is our sincere expectation that you, online media houses, will abide by the code of conduct and shake off the perception that you are unethical.

“I urge you to read the code of conduct and always remember its provisions whenever you are publishing your articles,” he said. 
Speaking on behalf of the four, Mr Bright Sonani of MediaCorp Ltd thanked MEC for considering new media institutions as partners in preparations for the 2014 elections.

Bright Sonani signing for the media code of conduct
Mr Sonani said the media houses appreciated their crucial role in helping building an informed electorate and will live to observe the media code of conduct in their daily practice.

The training workshop was organised by MEC with an aim of equipping the journalists with knowledge and information about electoral processes and also refresh their journalistic skills.

“We believe with full knowledge about electoral processes and your good journalism skills you can write even better stories or produce better programmes that will help build an informed citizenry,” Mr Potani told the journalists at the end of the training.

Mr Potani said the media have a responsibility of interpreting complex knowledge for the populace and they could not play this role if they did not understand electoral issues themselves.

“But after this training I have full confidence that you will now play your role in an excellent manner. I would also encourage you to share with your colleagues who may not have had the opportunity to participate in this training,” he said. 

The training was facilitated by veteran media trainer, Dr Zeleza Manda and there were guest presenters from the civil society, media and other facilitators from MEC.


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