Empowering community radio stations in Malawi

News   Lucy Isaac   November 27, 2023
PIC: Dr. Kizito Kanyoma and delegates during the workshop
On 20 November, 2023, the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) oriented 12 community radio stations in Malawi on an initiative aimed at improving their resilience and sustainability at the workshop held at the Raphael Tenthani Centre of Excellence in Investigative Journalism at the MUBAS’s Chichiri campus in Blantyre. The Department aims to develop a model for ensuring the resilience and sustainability of Malawi’s community radio stations in the digital era.

Dr. Kizito Kanyoma, the Executive Dean of the School of  Education, Communication and Media Studies, emphasized the need for community radio stations to embrace change in the digital era and commended the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at MUBAS for recognizing this need within community radio operations. 

"Let us come up with ways to make a difference by addressing the gaps within the community radio stations in Malawi" Kanyoma urged.

Dr. Jolly Ntaba, Head of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies, underscored the need for innovation in media ecologies that are changing with advances in technologies. He cited advances in artificial intelligence and internet technologies that demand a review of traditional media practice. 

Dr. Francis Chikunkhuzeni, a lecturer in Journalism and Media Studies, said that the department is fully prepared to support community radio stations in Malawi with strategies for resilience and sustainability. 

“We identified a significant gap in how community radio stations operate in Malawi and we aim to partner with them and develop a model for resilience and sustainability through participatory research. The goal is to ensure community radio stations provide better and effective spaces for community participation in the digital age” Chikunkhuzeni said. 

Jones Banda, the station manager for Kasungu community radio station, expressed concern about the challenges faced by community radio stations in Malawi. 

“Capacity gaps and financial challenges are the major obstacles that community radio stations face, and we hope that this project will help to address these issues” Banda said

The project is part of the Centres of Excellence in Journalism Education in Africa and is being funded by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) through Wits University and Rhodes University of the Republic of South Africa. 

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