Internet lowers barriers to news
By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi
One of Malawi biggest banks by assets, National Bank of Malawi says the media in Malawi needs to be more innovative in the advent of ICT technology which has made access to news cheaply and easily accessible.
“The Worldwide Web is and has disrupted and dramatically lowered the barriers to entry to the news business,” observed the Bank’s Corporate Affairs Manager Anne Magola on Wednesday.
“The business of selling words to readers and selling readers to advertisers is slowly but surely falling apart,” Magola observed when she addressed members of the Association of Business Journalists (ABJ).
She said now that times are changing, journalists need to become more innovative in their reporting if institutions and individuals are to rely on newspapers and radios.
Magola, who was presenting a half million kwacha cheque to the association on behalf of the bank, observed that today, most people get news on the internet, and that the internet is much faster than printed news media.
“Therefore let us be very innovative in the way we write and report so that your customers, us the businesses, still buy and listen to your news,” she said.
“I am sure you know the consequences of losing this business. I will not go into detail, it is common sense,” added Magola.
ABJ is preparing for its annual national conference and is soliciting funds from its partners like the banks.
Magola said the journalists will need to take advantage of the meeting to network so that they achieve more in this aspect.
“No man or institution exists in isolation,” she advised. “Let me therefore appeal to your respective members to exploit new untapped opportunities through effective networking at this event.”
ABJ Secretary General Henry Mchazime appreciated the Bank’s advice but believes this can be achieved if organizations and individuals are to make the right decisions.
“The right information must always be available, hence our call for players in every sector of the economy to come forward and directly interact with the business journalists,” he said.