PIJ Malawi Motivation

Malawi comes from a background where government maintained tight control over the media with many restrictive laws in order to suppress the growth of an independent media. For 31 years since 1964, Malawi did not encourage any institution to offer media related training. It was only until 1994 when Malawi opted for a multi-party system of government that, with the aid of the donor partners, the country pioneered media training with the Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) before the University of Malawi established the media faculty. During the onset of multiparty political system, Malawi media was able to hold the duty bearers to account. The situation has, however, changed where investigative journalism has been compromised by the political and corporate powers.

The media sector reels with gaping holes, visible in the practitioners’ body of work that falls below mark in their depth of delivery. The current situation, therefore, begs for more skills in IJ approach, technique, processing and packaging of stories. This is the reason PIJ-Malawi has emerged to seal up the porous system and to facilitate IJ development. Malawi media’s credibility, integrity, objectivity, fairness, accuracy and professional values have been compromised mostly as determined by the country’s political or corporate powerhouses. Despite establishing investigative journalism desks, most of the major media outlets in the country still fail to publish or broadcast hard-hitting and impactful investigative stories due to the overarching controls by the political and corporate powers. This is the reason PIJ- Malawi was established to become civic minded media which overtime was almost non-existent. PIJ- Malawi guarantees a non-compromised future for investigative journalism. Graduating journalism practitioners now have a platform and role models that will prop them up to grow into serious and credible investigative journalists that can hold duty bearers to account for their responsibilities.