Founded in 1964, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) is the public broadcaster in Malawi, the sole broadcast outlet with nationwide coverage. It runs one television channel and two radio channels. It is headquartered in Blantyre.
Television: Malawi TV; Radio: Radio 1, Radio 2
Ownership and governance
MBC is a State Owned Entity (SOE), according to a 2020 report from the local finance ministry. According to the 2016 Communications Act, MBC is governed by a board of directors who are in majority appointed by the country’s president. According to the act, the Board consists of five members and four ex-officio members, the five full members, including the chairperson, being appointed by the President. The board appoints the director of the broadcaster. The current director general is George Kasakula.
Source of funding & budget
According to the 1998 Communications Act, MBC is supposed to be funded through a combination of government appropriations and grants, and commercial revenues. A 2020 report from the Malawian ministry of finance indicates that MBC is in majority funded by the government.
In Malawi, freedom of the press is legally guaranteed by the constitution and the media field is regulated by several laws, the key ones being the 1998 and 2016 Communications Acts. The latest communication act puts forward several legal provisions on MBC’s independence. Yet, the public broadcasting provider is regularly accused of being biased in favor of the president and government, and of withholding opposition airtime. In 2021, MISA Malawi, an NGO, pointed out that “Malawians continue to complain about the partisan nature of programming by the public broadcaster.” Public Media Alliance also noted in 2020 that it is not uncommon to hear accusations of political interference at MBC.
No independent assessment/oversight mechanism that would validate MBC’s editorial independence has been identified.