Expert Commends Govt Depts for Opening Media Houses


University of Malawi (Unima) communication expert has hailed the trend by some government departments that have opened their media houses to serve the public better. 
Recently, the Malawi Police Service (MPS) has opened its Police FM, followed by the ministry of education's Education Broadcasting Station (EBS FM) when there is a national service broadcaster, the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation-MBC which equally serves their purposes. 
Unima's media and communication Senior lecturer, Dr. Sydney Kankuzi said on Monday that though this comes at a time when the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) had recently indicated that the country’s Frequency Modulation (FM) spectrum is  flooded, the government institutions have seen observable gaps in MBC. 
"The public service broadcaster may not be able to fulfill all its roles due to various reasons thereby creating gaps that are observable. So for example, police need a radio because they are also contributing to the development of the nation and even the TV because they work with the people," he said. 
However, Dr. Kankuzi said this should be a positive wake up call to MBC on competition. 
He added" The question would be what impact does that have to the public broadcaster? As far I am concerned, that kind of competition if looked at it positively, can help to improve the broadcaster because completion is good". 
Meanwhile, Ministry of Education spokesperson, Mphatso Nkuonera believes EBS FM will give education content a priority, enough airtime and also promote Distance Education and E-Learning model which is not the case with other media outlets including MBC. 
"The opening of EBS FM will deepen the opportunity of giving more education content to the learners out there. This is also in line with the promotion of distance and e-learning model among other skills," Nkuonera elaborated. 
Last week, the ministry embarked on an exercise where students were manufacturing radio sets in Nkhotakota ahead of the opening of EBS FM. 
From 1990s, Malawi has increased the number of media houses to about 57 radio stations and 14 television broadcasters.
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