By Mc Donald Chapalapata, a Contributor
Conglomerate Press Corporation plc has given K3 million to Media Council of Malawi (MCM) for revamping its secretariat. The money will be used for office logistics and equipment including the in-house printing of accreditation cards for journalists.
Presenting the cheque in Blantyre on Wednesday, Press Corporation plc General Counsel Benard Ndau said they decided to respond positively to MCM’s request because as a company, Press Corporation plc believes in media freedom and transparency and the promotion of ethical standards in the media.
“We noted that Media Council has been on and off for some time and when we received this request we thought this is the best time of helping resuscitating the organization which plays a critical role of raising the profile and standards of the journalism profession which is self-regulating,” said Ndau.
He said PCL, which is listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) and is also regulated under the Companies Act, gives out information to its shareholders and would want to deal with professional journalists who have been accredited by MCM.
“You will agree with me that there is a lot of fake news out there which has even affected us and some of our subsidiary companies churned by mostly people masquerading as journalists. We believe that if we start dealing with journalists who have been correctly accredited by MCM, we will deal with this proliferation of fake news,” said Ndau.
Ndau also said PCL supports the introduction of the Access to Information (ATI) law saying although the law mainly deals with public organisations, PCL as a public listed company will freely give out relevant information to its shareholders and stakeholders mainly in the spirit of the supreme law of the land, the constitution which provides for access to information.
Receiving the donation, MCM Chairman Wisdom Chimgwede thanked PCL for being the first company to respond positively to their call of resuscitating the activities of MCM.
“We thank Press Corporation for quickly responding to our request. This donation will help to advance media standards in the country because we will be printing accreditation cards on our own thereby saving resources. The country should be assured that only ethical journalists will be practicing ethical journalism because they will be accredited by MCM,” said Chimgwede.
He appealed to media houses and journalists to be accredited by MCM in order to protect the reputation of journalism in the country which he said is being damaged by other people who charade as journalists and churn fake news in the process.
In the spirit of accountability, MCM brought the equipment to the function which included a card printer, office printer, a laptop and a desktop bought by the K3 million donation from Press Corporation plc.