Malawi flagship newspaper frontpage triggers social media debate

The  photo caption story, which appeared on Wednesday in the front-page of Malawi’s flagship newspaper, the Daily Times, depicting  governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)  youth who are  painting their faces and bodies in party colours and main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) youth in berets in revolutionary red  has triggered a debate on social media.

Daily Times front page

Other Facebook users posted a photo of MCP youth also painted their bodies

Making a splash on the front page, the paper titled the caption story : ‘Sport the difference between the two groups’.

At political rallies, it is common to see a majority of youths painted from head to toe in sweltering heat, and sometimes drenched in rain, showing their unwavering support to party leaders.

Commenting on Daily Times front-page, United Democratic Front (UDF) spokesman Ken Ndanga wrote on his Facebook page that the newspaper has given its readers a “raw deal.”

“We just have to be fair,” he wrote.

Ndanga, who once worked as a newspaper journalist, stated that “The Spot the difference” caption in Times’ Wednesday edition “does not tell a fair and balanced story on the ground. I have seen MCP youths in very decent party regalia and seen the same in the DPP camp.”

“Equally I have also seen some overzealous youth from both camps in paint.  Secondly the class of the two pictures on their front page depicts youths of evidently different classes and can not be compared,” he argued.

According to Ndanga, the best the newspaper could have done was to do an article that condemns the exploitation of youths by political parties.

“This should not be an attack on the Daily Times but demonstration of my personal respect for the Daily Times being the oldest media organisation which has groomed so many professionals on the land,” he wrote.

Writing on his Facebook page, writer and renowned literary icon Stanley Onjezani Kenani wrote: “Dear Daily Times, Are you having a slow news day? This is blatantly partisan. We expect independent news coverage and analysis from you.Yours faithfully.”

Journalist Deguzman Kaminjolo, who once worked at Times,added his  voice to the debate.

He wrote: “So many ways to skin a cat, everyone chooses a means that works for them. Why should we judge the DPP youth when they paint themselves blue? Why isn’t it a big deal when Bullets or Nomads supporters smear paint on their skin? Or Brazil or France soccer team supporters when they paint their faces in their national colors? If I have to spot the difference between the two, on the right, I see dedication and loyalty to ones party.On the left I see teenagers who couldn’t resist a selfie opportunity. In 2019, One group here will be swiping on their smartphones updating statuses while the other group braves the queue to actually vote.”

An MCP supporter Frank Gondwe advised the media giant Times not to  practice gutter journalism like tax-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corportaion, saying “in the end people will not differentiate.”

Gondwe wrote: “Times group and MBC they should be professional . Leave partisan politics to Facebookers not you big media houses. MBC stopped professional reporting in 1994, so we are used to their mediocre reporting style. Don’t hit back , we are MCP inside out, no one would go to DPP now.”

In Malawi, parties have been using youth as objects to fuel violence and to disturb opponents’ political rallies.Now is time for the youth to take active participation in politics in order to become decision-makers as that is the only way youth-related policies will find their way on the national agenda.

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peter george
Guest
peter george

I don’t see any wrong because Times were just trying to remind us Malawians that we have only two active political parties MCP and DPP the rest are inactive But difference is that MCP is very good, DPP youth kugenda,kutchinga misewu komanso kuyenda ndi Zikwanje magalimoto masanasana.

Listen and Love
Guest

…with NO rational or plausible justification…

Listen and Love
Guest

Painting oneself or allowing oneself get painted in whatever colours no matter how beautiful they look is simply utter madness, stupidity and absurdity of the highest order with rational or plausible justification. Only fools reach that extent.

Yachimwa
Guest

The most important thing of all is that MIA is in town mulira muthamanga osati pang’ono

Kapolo Kambani
Guest
Kapolo Kambani

Times Group ili pa kampeni yayikulu. Ife tikuwona zimenezi. Whatever you say or discuss in your media tools will not change our mind, tinasankha kale. Don’t waste your time. You are just making us strong. Stupid Times

Kamzunguzeni
Guest
Kamzunguzeni

Iwe mbofayani is it the MCP as a party that killed the ministers or is it individuals from the party? Iwenso nde mbuzi yeniyeni yamunthu. Ngati ulibe mfundo just keep ur foul mouth closed, shupiti!!!

santana
Guest
santana

Nanga face book picture imeneyi Daily Times siinachite manyazi pamenepa? MCP siingabisale pachipande ayi. Anthu akusunga zambiri mu ma records koma azimasula chimodzichimodzi MCP ikawayamba dala. Nanga Daily Times imalota zoti wina wake akusunga picture imeneyi mu phone mwake? Should we say this Times reporter does not have pictures of Youth leaguers in the archieve? This is the problem with half-baked journalism. The guy writing while caressing the breasts of his prostitute so he lost truck about what he was doing. This work is embarrassing even to his teacher if at he went to school on this job. How do… Read more »

kanchenga
Guest
kanchenga

Point of correction. Kasakula comes from Kasakula village T A Kawamba in Kasungu district. His father is group village headland Kasakula of the old days. Not the political chiefs of today.Yes he may be a failure in other matters but he has never tried direct politics. Please don’t lie to Malawians.. When you include a lie in your comments it makes readers who know the truth think that you are lying in the whole matter. Just like Tembo lying about going together with UDF in 2009. It spoiled everything.

Peter Mathanyula
Guest

No wonder the youth in dpp are violent. It’s because of the painting of their bodies. And they drin the remaining paint. Anawo akadwala cancer simungawatumize ku Joni for treatment. All in all palibe mwana wa Mr. Ibu apa or wa minister. Ana a anthu wamba ndiye odzola paint anu ku school zakunja. zachisoni.

Jack
Guest
Jack

I rebuke such journalism in a strongest terms. Leave the profession and join politics. The strategy of the campaign is very bad for the media house such as Times Newspaper..

Chick
Guest
Chick

Paintings are done all over in the world to show support of something. Is it a taboo in Malawi? If that is the case then some people are backward with their journalism.

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