The government of Malawi has committed itself to providing a platform and systems to interface with the media in order to exchange information and ideas that will improve quality reporting on issues concerning agriculture.
This comes as the world over is experiencing misrepresentation of facts in reporting issues of agriculture due to the advent of the social media.
Speaking in Salima when he opened a four day training for the media on reporting agricultural ethics, Director of Administration in the ministry of Agriculture, irrigation and water development, McCollum Sibande said the media plays a crucial role in the development of agriculture which demands them to do their work professionally.
“As the media you must as much as possible strive to be professional, follow ethics and ensure quality when covering agriculture issues which have a bearing on the country’s development’’.
Sibande was confident that if the media report issues of agriculture in a professional and ethical manner multiple challenges being faced in the agricultural sector can be addressed.
According to Sibande, journalists are currently working hand in hand with government to disseminate agriculture messages.
He however expressed need for more understanding of the issues to broaden their knowledge that will translate to effective communication of agriculture policies to the masses.
Senior Program Manager and Policy Analyst for National Alliance Policy Acceleration Support (NAPAS), Arthur Mabiso added that there is need for evidence based reporting on issues of agriculture in the country to make meaning to the public and the policy holders.
He observed that when facts are twisted the stories create controversies which are not conducive for the public and government.
Vice President for Agriculture Journalists in Malawi, Eunice Ndhlovu said since they started training agriculture journalists in the country it has broaden their understanding on issues of agriculture.
Ndhlovu further said that the media is now able to relate well with stakeholders in agriculture and scientists which has helped them to be ethical and report professionally on the issues.