Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi Chapter has described as immoral and an attack on professional journalism the use of swearwords by public broadcaster MBCtv on Monday evening.
The TV station used swearwords in its 7pm Chichewa Bulletin of Monday, May 11, 2020. In the report that was narrated by journalist Henry Haukeya, the station used a screenshot of Facebook comments with swearwords targeted at Vice President Saulos Chilima.
In a statement, Misa Malawi Chairperson Teresa Ndanga said though MBC management has apologized for the broadcast saying it was an oversight on the part of the editorial team, Misa Malawi finds the broadcast not only shameful but a serious attack on journalism and Malawi’s moral standards.
Reads the statement in part: “It is against Malawian culture and the principles and values of professional journalism. The Communications Act of 2016 is clear on MBC’s public service obligations. It is appalling that the public broadcaster acted in such a manner.”
MISA Malawi has therefore urged individual journalists at MBC to rise above partisan journalism and embrace a culture of professionalism and integrity to safeguard their own career, media freedom and independence.
The institute has also asked Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) to discipline MBC and ensure the station is professional and operates according to the provisions of the Communications Act.
It further says Parliament should also take concrete steps that would guarantee non-partisan programming at MBC at all times.