23 January 2019

Malawi: Citizen Journalists Urged to Avoid Reporting Negatively

Chitipa — Pic sourced from internet

Citizen Journalists under Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, (CCJP) in Karonga Diocese, have been challenged to report truth on implementation of local government's development projects.

Speaking during distribution of smart phones and other materials to Chitipa based citizen journalists on Friday, St. Michaels Church Parish Priest, Father Charles Chinula, said negative reporting retards development in society.

He said journalists need to fully investigate and balance stories to report the truth and avoid bringing conflict among stakeholders and the community.

He said CCJP wants a representation of the community, to voice out on how the funds for development projects are being utilized in Chitipa and Karonga district councils.

"However, we don't want journalists to bring confusion in the society by misrepresenting facts. As such, be professional, and avoid focusing on negative stories only.

"Act as a bridge between the community and project implementers to ensure that there is transparency and accountability during the implementation of the projects," said Chinula.

CCJP with funding from the Irish Aid, through Dan Church Aid, is implementing a three-year accountability project in six traditional authorities in Chitipa and Karonga districts.

The project aims to ensure sanity during implementation of projects funded through Constituency Development Fund (CDF), District Development Fund (DDF) and Public Works Program (PWP).

The project's coordinator, Vincent Binga, said a total of 24 citizen journalists have been trained and recruited from traditional authorities Wasambo, Kyungu and Kilupula in Karonga, and Mwaulambia, Kameme and Misuku in Chitipa.

Binga said the journalists have acquired smart phones for easy documentation and reporting stories from their communities.

"We will link up the journalists with the media outlets in the country to get their works published," said Binga.

Traditional Authority Mwaulambia asked the reporters to take good care of the materials, and use them for the intended purpose.

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