The coverage of issues concerning children in Malawi is expected to be enhanced, following agreements that local journalists have made with their counterparts in the African region on Child rights advancement.
Representatives of the Media Advocates for the Advancement of Child Rights (MAACR) last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Zambian Media Network of Child Rights and Development (MNCRD).
The signing ceremony took place at the end of two day training for journalists on how best they can tackle issues affecting children.
The training, which attracted journalists from across the country, was conducted with financial support from Save the Children.
Facilitators were drawn from Kenya, Zambia and South Africa.
Among other things, participants were challenged to give children a voice in the media by involving them through the participatory media coverage.
Mallick Mnela who is Chairperson for MAACR stressed that child reporting is still facing challenges pointing out that they had seen a trend whereby issues concerning children have mostly been negative.
“The voice of the child has been missing in most of the stories and we want to change that,” Mnela added.
Commenting on the signing of the MOU, Mnela described it as a milestone in ensuring the Malawi media gets the much needed expertise in child reporting.
Executive Director of MNCRD, Henry Kabwe conquered with Mnela, “We are very delighted to have made this agreement with MAACR. This will entail a lot of things including exchange programs that will help both parties”.
He went on to say, “When we had just started in 2003, we faced a lot of challenges that we do not want our Malawian counterparts to experience, so they can learn from us”.
On her part, Country Director for Save the Children Tina Yu re-affirmed their commitment to ensuring that child issues are given the attention they deserve.
“Giving children a voice in the media has the potential of minimizing cases of abuse against them as their own narrative of their situation will give drive to people to act quickly on matters affecting them,” the Director disclosed.