US-based Malawian aerospace engineer Cedrick Ngalande writes a book on role of media that has been highly acclaimed by US experts

Cedrick Ngalande, a Malawian aerospace engineer and space scientist based in California, USA, is set to launch a book he has written entitled ‘Media Dictatorship: How Schools and Educators Can Defend Freedom of Speech’ — which US experts have sincerely lauded that it outlines how the American media uses its enormous power to control every aspect of the people’s lives and government.

Dr. Ngalande — who expressed interest to run for Malawi Presidential race for the 2019 tripartite elections but later pulled out — said he decided to write the book “after noticing how the media carefully distorts news and information, in order to ‘control’ people”.

“The book also discusses the devastating consequences of such control on our democracy and offers suggestions on what schools and educators can do to defend freedom of speech.

Cedrick Ngalande: Not contesting

“I would say the book is really about our civilization. Our civilization rests on some fundamental pillars, including freedom of thought, which led to advances in science and technology. Those pillars appear to be under attack at the moment.

“The United States America has always been a model free country since its founding. Unfortunately, slowly but surely, the freedoms that have made America unique appear to be diminishing.

“To a person like me, born under a dictatorship in Malawi, there are many parallels between what is happening in America today and what happened under the Banda dictatorship. You are beginning to see the media control information in such a way as to influence the general public.

“People who hold opinion contrary to the accepted media narrative are being branded as ‘enemies of society’ and, in some cases, are made to face grave consequences for holding contrary opinions.

“Social platforms, that effectively control the modern public square, are now able to ban certain people/leaders from participating in public debates.

“If these threats to freedom of speech of American citizens are beginning to mirror what Malawian citizens faced under dictatorship, can you still call America a democracy?

“Of course, unlike Malawi where Dr. H. Banda was the clear personalist dictator, America continues to hold regular elections and change of leadership. So, if a country holds normal regular elections while its citizens are heavily controlled by the press, should that country be regarded as a full democracy?

“What are the consequences of a powerful media that controls every aspect of people’s lives? What happens when the media is so powerful that even experts choose to endorse media narrative rather than give honest analysis?

“Why is it that, lately, TV/media experts have had a string of embarrassing failed predictions on major events such as Iraq war, coronavirus, 2016 elections and even global warming? Is it a coincidence that these failed predictions tend to be in line with the media narrative at the time?

“What role has the media played into these failed predictions? How is science being affect by the ever-increasing media power? And what are the consequences of all this to the sustainability of our civilization? — These are the questions that prompted me to research and write the book”.

He started writing the book during the CoVID-19 pandemic, “after seeing how the mainstream media covered the pandemic,” saying: “I have always played with these thoughts in my head, but the actual researching and writing the book took about 8 months.”

The book — which is being published by Rowman & Littlefield and will be available in major bookstores in America, Europe, Asia and Africa from August 11 — has been acclaimed that it “examines the ways in which a lack of objectivity in the media risks the distortion of our institutions and the society they are intended to support”.

This is on the back cover of the book critiqued by James E. Moore — professor of industrial and systems engineering and director of the transportation engineering graduate program, Asanti Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California.

“Cedrick Ngalande weaves together a backstory that integrates prominent refereed and unrefereed sources and media reports in a way that illuminates how the current state of American media betrays our national interests. He lays out what is happening, how it is happening, and what it will mean if current practices continue unchecked.”

While Torna Omar Soro — professor of economics and computer science, Bunker Hill Community College; computer science lecturer, University of Massachusetts Media Dictatorship — said it is “a must-read book for anybody who cares about media freedom and the media’s use of information”.

“Ngalande provides an excellent explanation of how information can be distorted and used by the media in the United States and around the world, and how certain people, politicians, and organizations can use the media to gain a competitive edge. He also describes potential steps to minimize the negative effects of distorted information on a country’s institutions.”

Media Dictatorship: How Schools and Educators Can Defend Freedom of Speech is introduced as outlining how the American media amasses enormous power and uses it to control every aspect of people’s lives — including schools, elections, science, and freedom of thought.

“Even religious institutions are now being influenced by the media,” said the introduction. “This book discusses the effects of media control on democracy and offers suggestions as to what can be done to identify media propaganda and defend freedom of speech.

“The school system has always been the first line of defense for democracy — teachers and school administrators have a responsibility to ensure that school campuses are sanctuaries for freedom of thought where the leaders of tomorrow are taught to be tolerant of opposing views.”

Ngalande is introduced on the back cover by the publisher, Rowman & Littlefield, as an aerospace engineer and space scientist residing in California — who was born in Malawi at a time when the country was still a dictatorship.

“His expertise in multiple disciplines, from science and engineering to business and finance, gives him a unique perspective on the way the media shapes, controls, and sometimes suppresses expert opinion on important issues in different fields.”

During the 243rd US Independence Day celebration at the US Embassy in Lilongwe in 2019, Chargé d’Affaires Andrew Herrup has said many Malawians have made outstanding contributions to science and technology amongst those he made special mention was Cedrick Ngalande — as an Aeronautical Engineer.

He took cognizance that Ngalande — apart from being NASA’s former fellow, has published several scholarly papers on ‘microscale thrusters using pulse optical lattices’.

In his own brief background on, Ngalande is “a strategic engineering executive with the technical breadth necessary to oversee all functions within the engineering team, with proven success in mentoring highly talented and successful engineers who aspire to perform with accountability for achieving their personal best while also meeting or exceeding company goals”.

“I have always represented the company to the highest standards regarding engineering strategy, performance and outlook.

“My strong background in aerospace engineering, computer programming, stochastic processes and engineering probability is a result of my expertise in space environments with specialties in direct simulations Monte Carlo (DSMC) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), predictive science, investment and financial engineering.

“As an effective leader, I also bring a business focus in areas including corporate strategy, project analytics, materials planning, production and procurement. This business acumen is combined with my demonstrated technical tactical leadership.”

Ngalande earned both his Masters Degree in aerospace engineering-astronautics (2004) and his PhD in astronautical engineering (2007) in US.

He is an Aerospace Engineer, Space Scientist, Financial Engineer and his work experience, among others, includes roles as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the US Naval Research Laboratory.

He is also a visiting Professor of Astronautics at the University of Southern California, a visiting Scientist at NASA/JPL and a Senior Space Systems Engineer at Microcosm Space Missions Company.

He was born on September 29, 1970 and hails from Phalombe District. His father, Alfred Goliati came from Kumadzi Village in Thyolo District, and his mother Jean Singani was born at Thangudzi in Mulanje District. Her family eventually settled at Mangodza Village in Phalombe.

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