NPC drills LL-based journalists on positive reporting

The citizenry may not actively participate in the implementation of national development initiatives unless the media plays a crucial role in disseminating important information.

This was a general take-home message for editors and journalists of different media houses based in Lilongwe when the National Planning Commission (NPC) organized a workshop on Friday to orient them on Malawi’s three major development plans.

These are the Malawi 2063 (MW2063) First 10 years Implementation Plan (MIP-1), the COVID-19 Social Economic Recovery Plan (SERP), and the Malawi Secondary Cities Plan (MSCP).

“You need to fully sensitize communities on these plans through success stories and positive reporting. The MW2063 emphasizes the spirit of hard work, patriotism, self-reliance, integrity, and discipline,” stated Director of Information, Chikumbutso Mtumodzi in his opening address of the workshop.

Mtumodzi: Media has to sensitize communities through success stories and positive reporting

Mtumodzi said if the citizens are well informed about the government’s national development plans, which he said was the duty of journalists, the former would actively participate in the plans’ implementation process.

On his part, Director of Planning in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, John Banda said since journalists play a big role in mindset change, they need to partner with the government in implementing its development initiatives.

He also pledged his ministry’s support to NPC, which is championing the MW2063 through the annual budgets and other forms of assistance.

During the workshop, NPC’s Director of Knowledge and Learning, Dr. Joseph Nagoli took the journalists through the Malawi Secondary Cities Plan and Motivation on Positive Media Reporting on Malawi.

He explained that Malawi has selected several places across the country to develop them as secondary cities which will be known for their particular economic activities such as agriculture, tourism, transport, and trade among others.

Dr. Nagoli further briefed the participants on MIP-1, hinting at the progress made so far and key challenges amid its implementation process. He cited COVID-19 as a major challenge while NPC’s Director of Development Planning, Dr. Grace Kumchulesi took the journalists through the SERP.

Dr. Kumchulesi-making her presentation. Pic courtesy of Moses Nyirenda

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) representative, Shigeki Komatsubara, under whose auspices the workshop was organized, touted journalists and the media as “capable of changing the country.”

Like the earlier speakers, Komatsubara urged the journalists to report positively on the “small but positive differences some Malawians are making in the country”, saying those small changes can change the whole country.

“You can change this country,” he told the journalists.

Malawi launched MW2063 on January 19, 2021. The development agenda aims to transform the country into a wealthy and self-reliant industrialized upper-middle-income country by 2063 when Malawi will clock exactly 100 years since she attained her self-rule.

The First 10-year Implementation Plan aims at attaining lower-middle-income status and realizing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.