LILONGWE (Malawi NewsNow ) — The Centre for Investigative Journalism Malawi (CIJM), a local media think tank with funding from Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) has rolled out its operations and has called for swift enactment of Access to Information law which will necessitate investigative reporting, the power to shame corruption perpetrators.
The centre has intensified intensive investigative reporting trainings for journalists drawn from local media houses.
Speaking at the opening of a training in Lilongwe, Mr Dan Msowoya, the centre’s Board member said CIJM s committed to promote innovative, original and professional investigative reporting in Malawi.
He says Malawi media reports lack modern skills and techniques among journalists as well as lacking in resources of media houses themselves.
Msowoya said CIJM seeks to provide training and mentorship to journalists who are interested to venture into what may appear to some as uncharted career waters.
“Malawi is still not free in a real sense of economic freedom and benefits with privileges remain to a few individuals while the rest of the population goes without tangible social services including scarcity of medical care, food insecurity exacerbated by corruption and fraud scandals,” says Msowoya.
“We live in a country where we celebrate thieves and vilify good men and women such that our sense of value is inconsistent with the purpose and objective of electing people into public office. We aren’t even wondering why the richest individuals are those holding such public office as the nation still elect hyenas to take care of goats and when goats are finally consumed which is a tragedy of Malawi and the entire African continent.”
Msowoya says the media as the fourth arm of government has a mandate to play the watchdog role of overseeing the other three branches of government to compel accountability and transparency through the publishing of information that is in the public interest including excesses by those in positions of authority.
He urges Malawi journalists to move away “from the comfort of the newsroom swivel chair going out to all country’s corners in bringing life to society while provoking a sense of reason, debate and speak out on emerging critical issues including abuse of public resources through corruption and fraud.”
The Centre for Investigative Journalism Malawi (CJIM) was established in 2013 to become part of the regional initiatives to promote strong investigative reporting in Southern Africa.