Feb 282011

Witchcraft in Malawi Provides Challenges for Journalists

Editors note: Knight Fellow Edem Djokotoe discusses the challenges and various methods of identifying and prosecuting withcraft.

The witchcraft stories that make the news range from spine-chilling and spooky to downright bizarre to fatally tragic. Take the case of 26-year-old Leticia Wyson from Nkondilile Village in central Malawi, for example. On January 15, villagers say she gave birth to two plastic bags containing a millipede, a snail, two mango seeds and nine small stones instead of a baby.

Jan 252011

Presidential Celebration in Malawi Does Little to Help Struggling Newspaper

Red carpet…a sea of tuxedos and dazzling, figure-hugging evening gowns…a phalanx of paparazzi looking for someone important or something offbeat to shoot.

But this black-tie event took place, not in Los Angeles but in a giant marquee on the lawns of Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika’s State House in Lilongwe, the capital.

The event in question was an awards dinner hosted by the state-owned and government-controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), dubbed “Our People, Our Pride.” It is an annual ceremony to honor Malawians whose deeds have touched the lives of many—ordinary people

Dec 102010

Bizarre Stories Sometimes Trump Substance, Even in Malawi

When it comes to crazy things, nothing beats what Pilirani Lazaro, a 22-year-old peasant farmer from Kalaza Village in central Malawi, did recently.

It may sound stranger than fiction, but on November 21, he took a knife, went into the bush, cut off his testicles and immediately put them up for sale.

Nov 32010

Malawi President Lifts Midwife Ban After News Reports Paint A Grim Picture for Pregnant Women

Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika had just returned home from New York where he had been attending a UN heads of state summit to review the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), making a detour through Havana—a city known more for its cigars than for its pies.

As is customary, he held a press conference when he touched down at Chileka International Airport and used the occasion to flay his critics for complaining that his numerous foreign trips were draining the national treasury.

Oct 232010

The Future of Fishing in Malawi

Editors Note: Knight Fellow Edem Djokotoe investigates the fishing industry in Malawi

The future of Malawi’s agriculture could lie in the hands of people like Heinrich Sitima, a 14-year-old school boy I met during a farm visit in Chiradzulu, a rural district some 30 minutes’ drive from Blantyre. He lives with his parents on Wambeu Farm, a 10-hectare sprawl with pigs, goats, cows, fish, bananas, cabbages, tomatoes, onions and a animal feed enterprise.
   Heinrich Sitima at Wambeu Farm in Chiradzulu Heinrich wants to be a farmer when he grows up.

Crisis Reporting: Deeper, Broader, Better

ICFJ administered a five-week Arabic online course on crisis reporting. The course, which took place April 15 to May 20, 2008, explored various topics, including natural disasters, humanitarian interventions and health crises.

Knight Fellow Joachim Buwembo helped a newspaper in Tanzania launch a section on agriculture – a crucial issue to raise people out of poverty. Competitive outlets have taken note and increased their own coverage of the topic.