MBC’s in a repentance journalism as regime change looms
Written by Richard Kayenda
The public broadcaster, which is also the oldest of all the broadcasting stations in the country, Malawi Broadcasting Station (MBC), has, of late, shocked many Malawians for embarking on what has been termed repentant journalism, following unofficial results of the fresh presidential election which strongly predict a regime change.
An observation has shown that as soon as unofficial results started to trickle in at the Main Tally Centre in Blantyre, with Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera of the Tonse Alliance, leading widely, MBC’s news bulletins and other election related editions became dramatically fairer, more balanced, more impartial, and even touting the the Tonse Alliance leader, an aspect which has invariably been missing in the mother channel.
However, this broad day twist of events has not gone down well with most Malawians as some feel this change has come too little too late after a great deal of damage has already been caused by the station. Some social media zealots have since been expressing various opinions as regards the future of the MBC staffers; particularly those who seemed to be serving their political masters at the expense of their professional code of conduct.
One Dav Stain Chasiya, in his Facebook post, is of the opinion that now that regime change is inevitable, all the presenters at MBC, who were apparent bootlickers should not be fired but be made to learn it in the hard and painful way.
Contrary to this, LordDenning QB, another Facebook regular, commented on Chasiya’s post saying, as a country, we would end up looking stupid when regretting not having expelled them in the first place. That wouldn’t be a prudent thing to do.
“There are plenty of jobless journalism graduates who would be grateful to grab that job. We can be better as a country giving such people a chance unlike preserving proven bootlickers,” said he.
Another social media reveler, Wanangwa Tembo, who is a journalist by training, wrote on his Facebook Wall: “MBC now wants to start overdosing us with Tonse Alliance news. That’s the nonsense we don’t want. Just give us news that reflect good journalism.”
These and many other posts by several Malawians through different media platforms smack of public radio and TV stations which do not serve the interests of the taxpayers but rather of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which is now at the verge of exiting the government.
MBC has, for the past few years, been criticised by Malawians for being used by the ruling DPP to be in partisan, partial and imbalanced reporting and attack the opposition parties; Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM leaders.
In May this year, MBC-TV beamed a vulgar content which attacked the reputation of the country’s Vice President, Dr. Saulos Chilima. Although MBC apologised for such unpalatable news content, most Malawians were angry at the development, with some activist bodies such as Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), Youth and Society (YAS) and the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia taking a legal action against the station.
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