>> How does an organization join?
>> Are individuals eligible to join?
>> What is the duration of membership?
>> How do I submit a complaint?
>> Do I have to be a member to submit a complaint?
>> Can I seek standards should I intend to open a media business in Malawi?
>> How does MCM differ from NAMISA?
>> What is MCM?
>> What is MISA?
1. How does an organization join?
Every media house, journalist’s training institution, professional journalists association and press club shall as long as they meet the minimum prescribed standards of the Council, become a full member of the Council, either from the date on which it is registered as a media organization by a relevant authority under relevant law or from the date on which it is established by the statute as the case may be ,unless such a media organisation expressly in writing , declines membership to the Council. Furthermore Council shall accord the status of associate membership to any professional association or organisation the aims and objectives of which complement, support or relate to the Councils objectives that have right to vote.
2. Are individuals eligible to join?
Individuals are not eligible to join, they can only do so through an institutional organization. Thus through, a media house, journalists training institution, professional journalists and press clubs.
3. What is the duration of membership?
There is no specific time for membership, a media organization may cease to be a member of the Council at its own request or by expulsion, cessation of operation, bankruptcy, winding up or otherwise as provided for in this constitution and shall have its name removed from the register of members.
4. How do I submit a complaint?
The rules set out in complaints procedures by MCM Ethics, Complaints and Disciplinary Committee stipulates that all complaints must be communicated to MCM Executive Director either in person, or by phone or in writing who in turn will hand the complaint over to the committee.
Complaints must be made as soon as possible but not later than one month after the publication or broadcast of any material or any alleged misconduct or breach of the code of ethics and Professional Conduct.
The Executive Director may upon reasonable grounds accept a late complaint if in his/her opinion there is a good and satisfactory explanation for the delay.
The complaint shall specify where and whom the article was printed or broadcast, the date or time of such printing or broadcasting and where possible quotations or cuttings of the offending material must be provided.
Where the complaint is for misconduct or alleged breach of the code of Ethics and professional conduct, the name of the respondent must be mentioned and the time when and where applicable , the place where, the alleged misconduct or breach took place and ,where possible ,reference must be made to the provision the code that has been breached.
Where the complaint is made against the executive Director Media Council of Malawi or against Ethics, Complaints and Disciplinary committee, it shall be lodged with the chairperson of the Council and where it is made against the chairperson it shall immediately be referred to the committee without any attempts by the Executive Director to resolve it.
The Executive Director may decline to accept the complaint on any ground; the complainant may request the Chairperson of the committee to review the executive director’s decision. In the event of the chairperson overruling the Executive Director’s decision, the matter shall proceed to in the same manner as any other matter provided that for purposes of calculating time for its determination, time will start running from the date the chairperson’s decision.
5. Do I have to be a member to submit a complaint?
No, any member of the public is free to submit a complaint to the Council. One of the Council’s main objectives is to promote and safeguard the interests of its members and the public in all matters affecting the public, so if a member of the public feels the media is not operating in line with the media ethics there is this freedom of filing a complaint to Media Council of Malawi.
6. Can I seek standards should I intend to open a media business in Malawi?
To own and operate a media house is an expression of speech or opinion by extension. Therefore no person or organization is barred form exercising the fundamental right to establish a mass media unit. No licence is required to operate a newspaper or magazine, but the owner is required by law to register with office of the Registrar-General on payment of a fee as any business venture and is requested to deposit copies of every issues of their publication with National Archives for record purposes only. On the other hand to own a radio or television station, the proprietor /owner shall apply to Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) which shall apply appropriate and transparent criteria for the award of licence.
7. How does MCM differ from NAMISA?
Media Council of Malawi (MCM) and The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter are both media institutions whose primary goal is to safeguard freedom of the media.
However, the main deference between the two institutions lies in their vision, mission, values and objectives. MCM is a self regulatory body for the media in Malawi whereas NAMISA is an advocacy organization that advocates for the media in Malawi. Media Council self regulates the media while NAMISA advocates for the freedoms of the media. Media Council focuses on media ethics, professional standards, promotion of media status, arbitration of cases between media and the public while NAMISA seeks to promote the free flow of information and co-operation between media workers; to conduct advocacy; act on media freedom violations; to conduct advocacy and to facilitate news exchange.
8. What is MCM?
Media Council of Malawi (MCM) is an independent, non-profit, non-political and self-regulatory media professional organisation with a mission to promote professionalism in the media industry by setting professional standards in the interest of the public in Malawi and upholds the values of accountability, integrity and excellence.
MCM seeks to update, maintain and promote the Code of Ethics and professional standards for media practitioners and media organizations; uphold and maintain the freedom of the media in Malawi, including the freedom of expression and the public right to freely receive and impart information and opinion; provide alternative dispute resolution mechanism on matters involving the media and the public; accredit local and foreign journalists in conjunction with the government; encourage ongoing dialogue between the media, government and the public and conduct professional development activities for the media in Malawi among other functions in Malawi.
9. What is MISA?
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) is a non-governmental organisation with members in 11 of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries. Officially launched in setpember1992, MISA focuses primarily on the need to promote free, independent and pluralistic media as envisaged in the 1991 Windhoek Declaration
MISA seeks ways in which to promote the free flow of information and co-operation between media workers as principal means of nurturing democracy and human rights in Africa.
The role of MISA is primarily one of a co-ordinator and for this reason MISA aims to work together with all like minded organizations and individuals to achieve a genuinely free and pluralistic media in Southern Africa.
The MISA Regional Secretariat is based in Windhoek NAMIBIA and its main tasks are:
Advocacy: To conduct advocacy in accordance to the organization’s mission, act on media freedom violations and conduct research as the basis of specialised and popularized publications.
News Exchange: To facilitate news exchange (to make sure that local news from the independent media is made accessible to the whole region and that regional news from the independent media is made accessible to the world.
National Chapters: To establish a MISA platform in each of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, recruit all institutional and individual members representing the independent media in the region.
Capacity Building: To capacitate national chapters, individual members and the independent media.
Management: To establish and implement financial control systems for MISA programmes and core functions, develop and maintain a rolling planning system for MISA strategies, programmes and core functions and liaise with key opinion- and decision makers central to the fulfillment of the organization’s mission.