Media Could Make Or Break-NICE Trust Appeals For Ethical Reporting
The National Initiative for Civic Education Trust is demanding of journalists nothing but ethical execution of their work away from reporting that has potential to incite violence ahead of pronouncement of the verdict in the presidential election case by the five-member panel of constitutional court judges.
Nice Trust national program manager, Gray Kalindekafe, said this in Mzimba on Wednesday as the organization continues on its peace building drive ahead of the verdict which the judges are putting together now.
Kalindekafe reminded the media that unethical reporting is believed to have been responsible for a number of conflicts on the continent of Africa years back.
“In a democracy, the media is very critical. Elsewhere, some scholars have even said the media is the oxygen of democracy. So we are saying that the media should report responsibly, should report the truth. They should not create stories because sometimes if they create stories, they actually escalate conflicts,” said Kalindekafe.
He gave an example of Rwanda where a lot of people died during what was termed as the Rwandan genocide which the world has blamed on alleged irresponsible media reporting.
“Close to a million people died within seven months. One of the actors who perpetuated that violence was the media,” he said. Kalindekafe also turned to the country's clergy to preach peace in their churches and mosques saying Malawi has always been known to be a peace loving country.
“…preach peace to your faithful. As we know, people involved in conflicts or violence come from churches or mosques,” he observed.
One of the participants, Valeria Longwe, said in as much as the move by the trust was commendable, some of the violence occurring, especially during demonstrations, have been sparked by poor police-public relations.
“Sometimes, if not all the times, violence erupts during demonstrations. The unprofessional conduct of the police. If police handled themselves professionally, violence that leads to damage to property would be minimized,” she said.
NICE trust is on a nation-wide campaign dubbed peace building drive to prepare masses on the pending court judgment in the contentious May 21, 2019 presidential election case.