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Journalism students symposium focuses on balance in media coverage

News   Hazviperi Mbizi   November 23, 2018
PIC: Students during the symposium
The Bachelor of Arts in Journalism fourth year students from The University of Malawi, The Polytechnic, organized a symposium which took place on Friday the 23rd of November at the Cross-Roads Hotel in Blantyre.

The Symposium which centred under the theme ‘For Balance and Impartiality in media coverage ahead of the 2019 Elections’ was sponsored by a number of organisations like, Malawi Communications and Regulatory Authority (MACRA), Castel, whereas UNHCR was the main sponsor.

In the opening remarks, the Head of Department for Journalism and Media studies Ellard Manjawira, explained that the theme is timely because the country will be undergoing the tripartite elections in less than six months to come.

“The role of the media is crucial during this time because there is need for you to work as professionals by following the ethical procedure in your writing and reporting skills,”Manjawira advised.

Speaking on behalf of the students, Tisunge Banda, explained the relevance of the theme during this period which should encourage journalists act ethically and not bias towards a particular political party.

The Dean of Faculty for Education and Media Studies Dr Mary Kamwaza advised the outgoing journalism class to maintain brotherhood by working and assisting each other after graduation.

“Use skills that you have acquired to work together in entrepreneurship. You are carrying University of Malawi and The Polytechnic flag wherever you go therefore it is very important to balance your stories and verify before reporting.” She advised.

The event was spiced by various presentations done by the students showcasing what they have learned and what they are capable of doing to the potential employers.

The guest of honour, Dr Benson Tembo explained the roles of Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) to the students by encouraging them to open their own Television Stations, thereby creating more job opportunities.

“I can see that there is a lot of talent here, partner with each other to come up with opportunities. Need for knowledge is critical because it helps in impartiality. Read as much as possible, check and verify with more sources because you attach your work to your name,” Tembo advised.

Presentations by the representative of UNHCR, Rumbani Msiska, MESN, Andrew Kachaso and Castel Malawi Godwin N’goma, centered on encouraging the journalism students to work professionally as they go out to the industry. They also emphasized the need of being knowledgeable on the information they would be writing and reporting on.

On behalf of the class, Lusungu Munthali, Memory Juga, Benson Saka and Lameck Kwalimba presented a magazine they designed, a radio program, a specialized writing story and a small television documentary.

The students showed their satisfaction with the symposium and they hope that they will get internship opportunities from the representative of the organizations which were present.

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