By Fostina Mkandawire-MANA
Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Henry Mussa on Wednesday advised radio stations in the country to desist from airing programmes that incite violence and hatred among Malawians.
Mussa made the remarks during a press briefing held in commemoration of World Radio Day at Central Office of Information in Lilongwe.
Malawi joins the rest of the world in commemorating World Radio Day which falls on February 13 every year. The day was set aside to, among other things, raise greater awareness among the public and the media on the importance of radio.
Mussa said irresponsible journalism in radio stations is very dangerous and must be avoided all the time.
“Government expects radio stations to have broadcasts that provide a platform for dialogue and democratic debate over issues. We call upon radio stations to have programmes that build tolerance and bring people together,” he said.
The minister said the need for professionalism on radio stations cannot be overemphasized, especially now that the country is going towards tripartite elections in May.
He, therefore, urged the media to desist from the temptation of turning radio stations into battle fields of politicians.
“Government reiterates its commitment to ensure that the media, particularly radios, play their role in a free environment so that human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially freedom of expression are promoted.
“Government supports free, independent and pluralistic media through all transmission platforms including community radios,” he said.
Mussa also commended the role played by various radio stations of informing, educating and entertaining the masses, especially remote communities and vulnerable people with disabilities, women, youth and those facing poverty, while offering a platform to intervene in the public debate.
This year’s World Radio Day theme is “Recognizing the power of radio to promote dialogue, and peace.”