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Malawi Election Coverage "Broadly Neutral"

First of three reports looks at neutrality and bias in state-run and commercial media outlets.

Malawi 2014 Election Monitoring

This is the first of three monitoring reports on the media in Malawi ahead of presidential, parliamentary and local elections scheduled for May 20, 2014.

This is the second media report of the IWPR/USAID/DFID Media Monitoring Project. It covers the period 2nd -22nd April 2014.

This is the third media report of the IWPR/USAID/DFID Media Monitoring Project. It covers the period 23rd April - 18th May 2014.

IWPR’s monitoring of the media in Malawi reveals that most news coverage was “broadly neutral in tone”, although state broadcasters displayed a bias towards the People’s Party of President Joyce Banda.

The news output of print, broadcast, electronic and social media from March 22 to April 2 was scrutinised for tone and balance ahead of elections for the presidency, parliament and local government scheduled for May 20.

After the monitoring period ended, the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation assured the election authorities that it would strive to cover campaigning in a more even-handed way. Two further rounds of media monitoring, to be conducted before and after the election, will look at whether this has happened.

IWPR, in partnership with the National Democratic Institute, is running this monitoring project as part of the Malawi Electoral and Decentralisation Activity programme, supported by the United States Agency for International Development and the British Department for International Development. Four local organisations have assisted with the project – the Polytechnic and Chancellor College (both part of the University of Malawi), the Malawi Institute of Journalism, and the Media Institute of Southern Africa.