Blantyre: Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has embarked on a capacity enhancement training programme for District Information Officers (DIOs) where among others, the institution will equip them with skills on radio and television production.
Speaking on Friday in Blantyre during the first training for information officers from the southern region, MACRA Deputy Director of Broadcasting, Kelton Masangano said the regulatory body has this year lined up a number of trainings for DIOs covering a wide range of topics.
Masangano said government mostly relies on district information officers to communicate various development programmes to the masses and also collect information from the ground on social needs of communities.
He, therefore, said for these DIOs to effectively carry out their expected roles, they require special skills in radio and television production.
Apart from regulating communication activities, MACRA has the mandate to train media practitioners in the country on how they should carry out their activities to promote national development.
We know that most of the DIOs are well conversant with writing for print and not for electronic like radio and television.
This training is, therefore, aimed at equipping information officers with relevant knowledge so that they should be able to report their issues in all forms of mediums, Masangano explained.
Besides conducting training, MACRA is also planning to establish radio and television studios in all the four regions of the country that will be used by DIOs to come up with finished products ready for public consumption.
We will partner with the Ministry of Information which is also in the process of establishing television studios in all the regions of the country. It is our hope that together we can serve this nation better and contribute to socio-economic development, he said.
The training in Blantyre also involved reporters from community radio stations as well as from Malawi Broadcasting Station (MBC). The involvement of MBC and community radio stations is meant to establish relationships between the institutions and the DIOs and share practical skills.
Deputy Director in the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (Film and Technical), Arthur Chipenda commended MACRA for organising the training, which he said, would help the ministry to achieve its objective of keeping Malawians informed about government’s policies and development programmes.
As a ministry, we have the District Information Capacity Enhancement Programme (DICEP) which aims at equipping DIOs with various skills and enhance ethical reporting, he said.
We are grateful to MACRA for organising the workshop where our officers will gain various skills and be able to conduct their duties involving the skills they have acquired, added Chipenda.
Brian Wasili, District Information Officer for Mwanza described the radio and television training as relevant, especially in this digital era of news broadcasting.
This is a very important training because for us to effectively and efficiently communicate to the public, we need special skills. It is our hope that the ministry will continue to partner with various organisations and be able to enhance our capacity, Wasili said.
Meanwhile, MACRA has organised similar trainings for information officers for the Central, Eastern and Northern Regions.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA