The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has summoned private owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) over what they say irresponsible coverage of demonstrations organised by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC).
According to a summon dated July 4 2019 signed by Macra director genera Godfrey Itaye which Nyasa Times has seen, ZBS should unveil itself to the regulator offices in Blantyre on Friday 5th July to discuss the manner in which the private broadcaster is covering the demonostrations which started on Thursday and are scheduled to end Friday.
The media regulatory body notes that ZBS diverted from their usual broadcasting schedule and dedicated over 40 percent of their broadcast on updates of the said demonstrations which Itaye deemed sensational with potential of inciting violence.
“Whilst MACRA recognizes and encourages freedom of press, it is our belief that responsible broadcasting that could likely endanger public safety and security should at all times be observed.
“MACRA has observed that the manner in which you have conducted the broadcast may be deemed sensetionalization of the said demonstrations with the potential of inciting violence,” the letter reads in part.
Zodiak’s director of news and current affairs Gabriel Kamlomo said they will attend the meeting with Mcara and appreciate the regulator’s concern.
Kamlomo said Zodiak will always strike to be “professional media house.”
MACRA which is mandated to regulate the communications in Malawi is yet to lift the ban on all phone in programs in all radio stations and televisions across the country.
The state controlled MACRA placed the ban citing unethical and unprofessional conduct by some broadcasters.