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Malawi, March 27th, 2018 (Stella Zulu, ECM Communication Office). Catholic Media Council representative, Petra Stammen has recommended the Church on its enthusiasm and commitment towards the media and its use in evangelization and development in the country.
The recommendation was made during a visit to Catholic media institutions, both electronic and print, as well as the projects which are in preparation in order to understand the reality on the ground on some of the challenges faced by the institutions.
“I am in the country on a project visit to see and understand what is happening on the ground; the most pressing needs, what is working and not working to better understand the context once I get funding requests on my desk. This will help me contextualize the projects bearing in mind the reality on the ground,” said Petra.
Petra also admitted that she was impressed with the enthusiasm of many Bishops and Archbishops she interacted with on the importance and relevance of the media in the church in Malawi as compared to other countries who are a bit reluctant on the need to utilize the media in the church.
“I feel there is commitment towards the media in the church as there is a general understanding of how relevant the media can be as a tool for evangelization and change for the whole society. The Bishops’ commitment towards the use of the media outlets is so crucial because without support from the top, it is very difficult for the media houses to function effectively,” she said.
Despite the recommendation, Petra admitted that Catholic media institutions in Malawi are facing a number of challenges including lack of sustainable ways to generate income to maintain the technical infrastructure, run the institutions throughout and the need for capacity building. She said networking can help a lot to solve these problems.
“What is key in all institutions is that management should work to achieve more cooperation and interaction to avoid each of them looking to their own businesses. There is need to partner with others even the secular media houses and be in the same boat to overcome the common challenges that are faced,” she said.
During this tour, Petra accompanied by the National Communications Secretary, Fr. Godino Phokoso visited Blantyre, Balaka, Mangochi, Mzuzu, Karonga and Lilongwe where some of the Catholic media houses are operating from.