Thursday, July 26, 2012

Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has issued 15 broadcasting licenses

Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has issued 15 broadcasting licenses to applicants who applied for them two years ago.

MACRA director general, Charles Nsaliwa said 22 applications have been successful but they will be doing the announcements in phases. He said in total, MACRA received 36 applications.

"Broadcasting is powerful and sensitive"

"The process of awarding licenses involves the government as broadcasting is powerful and sensitive," said Nsaliwa. "To those of you who are not successful you should still wait when we will advertise next time," he added.

The awarding of licenses in this manner is a departure from the regime of president Bingu wa Mutharika who had decided to only give such licenses to those deemed to tow his political philosophy.

The Malawi chapter of Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Malawi) has applauded the administration of president Joyce Banda for upholding media freedom with the issuance of the licenses.

"I urge media houses to roll out within the stipulated time so that their licenses should not be revoked," advised MISA-Malawi chairperson, Anthony Kasunda. He told The Daily Times that this is a milestone in the history of broadcasting media in the country.

"MISA-Malawi advocates for media pluralism and we believe Malawians have a right to access information from a medium of their choice," said Kasunda, who paid tribute to president Banda for striving to live up to her pledge of respecting media freedom in the country. 

Television and radio licenses issued

MACRA announced on Wednesday, 25 July 2012, at a media conference, that it has issued television and radio licenses to applicants.

Seven applicants have been awarded television licenses and they include Times Television owned by Times Group Company.

The others are Zodiak Television who already runs a radio, Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS), Chancellor College Community of the University of Malawi, Adventist, Timveni, supported by Plan Malawi, Good News and Beta TV.

The eight applicants that have been awarded radio licenses include CCAP (Church of Central Africa Presbyterian) Blantyre Synod, CCAP Nkhoma Synod, CCAP Livingstonia Synod, Chancellor College Community, Matindi, Bua FM, Mwandama Community and Nyethepa. 

(Source : Biz Community, South Africa)

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