Sports journalists in the country, operating under the umbrella of the Sports Writers Association of Malawi (Swam), have been challenged to notice the difference between material meant to built hype towards an event and that which is meant to provoke others in the pretext of building hype.
The call was made by Super League of Malawi (Sulom) treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda on Friday at the beginning of a two-day workshop at Sports Council offices in Blantyre.
The workshop, sponsored by TNM, is aimed at equipping the participants from both print and electronic media with knowledge to fight violence and hooliganism at football matches.
In his presentation on Sulom’s perception on football hooliganism, among other issues, Somba Banda urged journalists to be vigilant in ensuring that interviewees do not hijack situations to put across provocative messages that end up brewing trouble at football venues which are supposed to be peaceful environs for families to have fun.
“Building hype and provoking others is the challenge that has to be managed in interviews,” said Somba Banda.
Speaking earlier when he opened the workshop, Swam board of trustees chairperson, Gracian Tukula, urged the journalists to take responsibility in what they write in the newspapers or air on radio and ensure that it does not fuel hooliganism.
He urged them to be advocates of peace.
“We are there to ensure that all the fires have been calmed,” Tukula said about reporters’ role in the event that hooliganism has happened.
Other resource persons at the workshop include Polytechnic lecturer Andrew Chimpololo, former MBC football commentator Geofrey Msampha and a representative of referees.
TNM public relations manager Limbani Nsapato also graced the opening ceremony and asked the participants to make the most from the workshop.