US envoy visits Malawi media houses, ‘disappointed’

New US Ambassador to Malawi Jeanine Jackson embarked o n a tour to the country’s leading print media houses, the Nation Publications Limited (NPL) and Blantyre Newspapers Limited (Times Group) at Ginnery Corner in Blantyre.

The visit was part of a programme to familiarise herself with the press in Malawi.

One of NPL’s titles, Weekend Nationreported that Jackson said she visited their office “because the US stands for free and vibrant press!

NPL’s production manager Alfred Mtaula explains to Jackson (R) how The Nation is printed. Photo: Weekend Nation

While a weekly title for Times Group, Malawi News reported that   the US ambassador was  not pleased to see Malawi journalists were harassed at a press ‘rally’  organised by President Bingu wa Mutharika on his return from a ‘controversial’ holiday in Hong Kong in November.

“I have to say I was concerned and disappointed at the treatment of journalists at the airport when His Excellency the President returned from his overseas trip. It is very, very disappointing. People should recognise that they should respect journalists, not harass them. I want to see journalists treated well here,” Malawi News quoted Jackson as saying.

“I was surprised that I heard MPs and others yelling. I asked myself: Are hard questions banned in the country? I felt that was a lost opportunity to address problems that have been eating the country. I think government should be able to discipline its followers.”

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