The Media Council of Malawi’s media accreditation program may be shut down, BizCommunity.com reported. The Malawi Media Council identifies itself as “an independent, non-profit, non-political and self-regulatory media professional organisation with a mission to promote professionalism in the media industry.”
The council’s chairman, Reverend Patrick Semphere, explained that the program’s funding wasn’t “renewed at the expiry of the agreed period,” so the council isn’t sure what the program’s status is, according to BizCommunity.com. The program’s “core funding” came from the British High Commission.
Not only does this affect journalists trying to be accredited, but is also affects journalist trying to renew their “press cards,” BizCommunity.com indicated.
The media council says it and the accreditation help provide “effective self-regulation,” BizComunity.com wrote. The press cards provide a way for journalists in Malawi to show “news sources, authorities, the public, etc.” that they are “genuine and professionally accredited representatives of the media,” according to BizCommunity.com.
To be accredited, “employed journalists” have to provide the program with, among other things, “a completed application form endorsed by the employer,” and “copies of certificates of academic and professional qualification.” If they are freelance journalists, they have to provide some published clips and “a letter” from a news outlet that has hired the freelancer, according to the Media Council’s report on accreditation.
Press cards last two years for Malawi journalists; however, if journalists are “found guilty of gross misconduct contrary to MCM code of ethics,” press cards can be revoked, according to BizCommunity.com. The Malawi Media Council code of ethics is published here. We have also added it to our list of international media ethics codes.
According to a 2008 report on the council’s website, the goal of having accreditation is to help “bring order, credibility and integrity in the profession.”
We have written to the Media Council of Malawi for more information and will update with any response.