The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has warned some broadcasters in the country to adhere to their licence obligations and provisions as provided for in the Communications Act, saying it had noted failure by others.
MACRA Director General Charles Nsaliwa fired the warning shot in statement, saying MACRA is in the process of licensing more broadcasters.
He did not name those that were abrogating their licence terms and provisions.
“All broadcaster conducting live programmes are urged to refrain from fueling violence by ensuring that abusive expressions and obscene language is taken off air,” Nsaliwa said.
He said it is a requirement that broadcaster wishing to conduct live or phone in programmes must install Profanity Delay Machines in their studios to make the programmes obscene free.
The Director General then said MACRA will not take as an excuse the absence of this machine for non-compliance.
On the freedom of worship, Nsaliwa said the Authority has noted that some broadcasters were denigrating other religious beliefs in their broadcasts.
“Malawians have a right to enjoy freedom of worship as guaranteed in the Constitution. MACRA is therefore urging all broadcasters, in particular, religious oriented to broadcast programmes that respect all religious beliefs and denominations,” he said.
He also said MACRA will revoke licences or impose penalties on broadcasters who will regarded as negligent by not adhering journalism ethics by balancing views or opinions in their news bulletins or any broadcast programme.
“This will enable broadcasters to desist from biased coverage of news and programmes. Broadcasters are also urged to refrain from defamatory, derogatory, inflammatory and abusive language or any expression deemed to offend listeners,” Nsaliwa said.