MACRA Board director, Stella Chuti (right) with MISA Malawi vice-chairperson Chisomo Ngulube
* There are knowledge gaps in issues of licensing, ethical reporting and resource mobilisation among community radio broadcasters
* Community radios are not just broadcasters, they are the voice of the communities
* And their role in fostering access to information and citizen empowerment cannot be overstated
By Tabbu Kautye, MANA
Community radios play a critical role in disseminating information to a larger audience in the rural areas, but they lack the necessary skills, knowledge and finances to operate effectively.
This was said by Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) Board director, Stella Chuti at the opening of a two-day capacity building workshop for the community broadcasters — organised in collaboration with Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter.
Knowledge gaps in issues of licensing, ethical reporting and resource mobilisation among community radio broadcasters prompted the communications regulator to enhance their knowledge and Chuti said the workshop was necessary in light of the challenges that the community broadcasters face, which in-turn affects their duty of disseminating information.
“Community radios are not just broadcasters, they are the voice of the communities, and their role in fostering access to information and citizen empowerment cannot be overstated,” she said.
“This workshop is going to empower the community broadcasters with the required knowledge in finance management and literacy so that they can positively impact their communities.”
On her part, MISA Malawi Chapter vice-chairperson, Chisomo Ngulube said they are committed in ensuring that the media in Malawi thrives and this can be achieved through capacity building interventions.
“This training is pivotal in ensuring that community radio stations — which serve a majority as they directly engage with the audiences — are able to deliver ethical content and are also able to manage their finances well.”
Ngulube added that MISA Malawi Chapter was optimistic that after the training the community broadcasters would on their own be able to mobilise resources, manage resources and come up with initiatives that will maintain them on air.
The workshop called together board members, managers and editors from all community radio stations across the country.