The European Union (EU) Chargé d'Affaires to Malawi, Ivo Hoefkens, says community radio stations have a critical role to play in tackling fake news and disinformation surrounding coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Hoefkens made the remarks the remarks in Lilongwe on Tuesday during the opening of a capacity building workshop for community radio stations and NICE staff members on Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional integration and Covid-19.
The Chargé d'Affaires observed that community radios have a unique position in the struggle against the pandemic 'being from the people to the people'.
"There also a lot of fake news going around to which community radios are a very potent remedy. And of course, the pandemic knows no border, which means that, for this kind of global challenges, there is need for a regional approach in addition to the national efforts. There is need to join forces with neighbours," said Hoefkens.
In his remarks, the NICE executive director Ollen Mwalubunju said NICE organized the training workshop to impart radio producers and NICE officers with knowledge that will, in turn, assist them come up with messages and programmes content on Covid-19 and SADC regional integration.
He emphasized that when it comes to Covid-19, oftentimes the only way people will believe new information is if a trusted source shares it.
"That's why we're working with well-known broadcasters to react to the needs created by the current situation -- whether that's adjusting programming we already have on air, or supporting broadcasters as they develop new programming.
"Community broadcasters have, in many cases, become a vital means by which the voiceless are able to exercise their right to express themselves freely and to access the information they need to bring about positive change," he emphasized.