Eminent business and corporate journalist Frank Phiri has come up with a Five-Point Plan aimed at rejuvenating the Malawi Chapter of Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA).
Phiri is contesting against Zodiak Broadcasting Station’s (ZBS) Director of News Teresa Ndanga for the position of Chairperson during MISA Malawi’s the forthcoming National Governing Council election on June 3, 2017.
A copy of the Frank Phiri 5-Point Plan sourced by Nyasa Times shows an ambitious roadmap for the media body, with a thrust on inclusive and peer review journalism practices, press freedom advocacy, and strengthening of MISA Malawi’s finances and governance.
The highlighted five pillars of the plan are Safeguarding Journalism through Press Freedom Advocacy, Inclusive Capacity Building for Media, Inclusive Welfare Programs for the media, Peer Review Journalism and Strengthening Financial Sustainability, Accountability and Membership.
“I will be very resolute in leading an NGC that will strive to maintain our sanity as freedom fighters, and as stewards of an admirable, technologically responsive, and relevant profession,” reads an executive summary of the 5-Point Plan under the banner of “The quest for an Inclusive, Diverse and Relevant Media.”
On press freedom advocacy, Phiri identifies 19 pieces of legislation that need repeal or amendment to remove threats for journalists as well as re-affirming MISA’s role in the implementation of the recently passed Access to Information (ATI) law.
The pillars on Inclusive capacity building and welfare program aim to recognize the diversity of media in providing and sourcing training for journalists, including disparate community broadcasters, supporting the Journalists Union of Malawi (Juma) in restoring dignity of media workers through addressing inequalities in remuneration, benefits and compensation. The Peer Review Journalism is a new mechanism aimed and bringing self-regulation in journalism practice and enforcing professional standards. On finances, Phiri is advocating for fund-raising activities to complement project funding that MISA Malawi may receive from backers.
MISA Malawi has been facing financial difficulties since 2013 when MISA Regional Headquarters in Namibia stopped pool funding for affiliates in the region. “The withdrawal of annual financial subvention from the umbrella regional body in Namibia means MISA Malawi has to fend for itself. It is a wake-up call for membership to bring their best in terms of creative ideas to help shore up the organisation, financially and technically,” wrote Phiri.
He has teamed up with Nation Online Editor Sellina Kainja, Malawi News Agency (MANA) journalist Chimwemwe Njoloma to form what is called #Team FSC, or Team Inclusive against Teresa’s formation of Times Sub Editor Clifton Kawanga, and Times Mzuzu Bureau Reporter Mandy Pondani.
Phiri, is a director at Malawi’s award-winning media agency FD Communications Ltd and brings a combined 18 years experience in mainstream journalism, media management, and integrated communications. He has worked as Business Editor for the then Blantyre Newspapers Limited, now Times Media Group and The Nation and correspondent at financial news agency, Reuters, and development news agency, Inter Press Service (IPS) and also the Southern African Broadcasting Association (SABANEWS).
He has served in number of media advisory roles for corporations and media bodies such as the Association of Business Journalists (ABJ) and the Johns Hopkins University Project on HIV/AIDS research in Malawi. He alongside Nyasa Times Editorial Director Thom Chiumia was one of the founding members of the Media Association of Human Rights Journalists (MAHRA).
The MISA elections return a month after they were cancelled at the 11th hour following claims by the Teresa Ndanga camp that some members that turned up on May 6 at Riverside Hotel in Lilongwe were not eligible to vote in MISA NGC elections. The issue has since been resolved by the MISA Secretariat.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :