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WITHOUT MANY people realising it, the world has been plunged into a raging Information war of epic magnitude. That we are not seeing jets flying, tanks invading countries and missiles fired does not mean nothing is going on. It took one of the world’s biggest powers, the United States of America (USA) to bring the rest of the world closer to confronting a truth that has been lurking for a while now.

The US election last November yielded what some people describe as a ‘surprise’ outcome. But if you were really paying attention, the emergence of president-elect, Donald Trump, as victor is hardly a surprise. To pay attention, however, sometimes requires that you do not pay attention to certain things as well. And, when it comes to Media – mainstream media especially – paying less attention has profound merit.

To his credit, Trump understood this point very well and made sure it was central to how he ran his campaign. He not only cast aspersions on mainstream broadcast media like Cable News Network (CNN) and print media like The New York Times, but he went further to directly tell these media exactly what he thought of them – lapdogs being stroked by their masters (The Establishment) so that no change happens, and millions of Americans continue to be disenfranchised. Read More

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Continued from last week

The epic failure by president Mutharika’s government to release information about his whereabouts while in the US point to the poverty of mind with which successive governments in Malawi have been run. It seems we have remained stuck in the 1964 time-warp, where the government is supposed to be a feared institution, with citizens playing a subservient role in it.

This is very unfortunate and Malawians have to take the blame for allowing this to happen to them. Ordinarily, governments are supposed to be at the service of the people, not the other way around. We do not exist for purposes of stroking the ego of the government. On the contrary, any serious government ought to ensure that it meets the expectations of its citizens by being accountable to them. Doing this is not a favour, it is the ultimate duty of a government towards its citizens. Read More

Information is power, they say. And, an informed citizenry makes informed decisions. Media play a crucial role in mediating the space between citizens and institutions that make up the State. This allows media to operate within a framework that should be biased towards the most marginalised, dispossessed and silenced in society. eu-media-futures-forum-pic_0

Although we live in an Information Age, values that are at the heart of journalism have never changed –pursuing of Social Justice. As journalists try to fulfil this mandate, they soon discover who the enemies of social justice are. In most societies, these are the rich, powerful and famous, men and women of influence and in whose interest social justice must not be a reality. Read More