The Impact of Political Interference on Public Media Functions: The Case of Malawi Broadcasting Cooperation (MBC) (Published)
Media practice faces untold challenges in both democratic and nondemocratic countries. Among those many challenges, the issue of interference of politics on the editorial functions of the media is chief. The purpose of this thesis was to assess the impact of political interference on the functions of public media; with focus on the Malawi Broadcasting Cooperation. Malawi is a democratic country where like many other democratic countries, its constitution allows for free media practice. Nevertheless, the situation in which the country’s public broadcaster operates is pathetic. The public broadcaster does not function independently, and instead of catering for the citizenry, it is used as a tool for propaganda by each political party that assumes power. The funding that the Malawi Broadcasting Cooperation receives from government, the laws guiding the functions of the broadcaster, and the process by which top officials of the broadcaster are appointed, are some of the things that create fertile ground for interference.There are a lot of problems that come with political interference on the functions of public media. Since the public broadcaster now only broadcasts the government’s positives, the citizenry is robbed of the truth that lies behind the untold stories; the negatives. In addition to that, the audience has lost trust in the public broadcaster, such that most people now do not listen to or watch the public broadcaster. Worse still, the interference of politics deprives media practitioners of their freedom. They cannot freely express themselves for the fear of losing their jobs.This thesis advocates for the emancipation and revolution of the captured media. The Malawi Broadcasting Cooperation must be left to be an independent entity as is supposed to be the case in order to better serve the public.