Local media, local content and local literacy: How Malawian media thwart popular participation in development
Paper author: Levi Zeleza Manda
More than twelve years after Malawi reverted to multiparty democracy and adopted a constitution that incorporated a bill of rights, the local media are, contrary to popular expectations, slowly becoming a tool for suppression of local content and local languages.
This study is a content analysis of the use of local languages and local content in the Malawian major print and broadcast media. The study concludes that media pluralism has not been matched with plurality of ideas, languages and content. The result has been the thwarting of participation of the majority of Malawians in public debates that concern community and national development.
Key terms: Public broadcasting, Public sphere, Development communication, Mass society, linguistic diversity