Malawi: Shedding Light on Development in One of Africa’s Poorest Countries
Edem Djokotoe led a team of 10 reporters and editors at Malawi’s leading independent newspaper, The Nation, in producing investigative reports that shed light on development issues such as farming, fisheries and fuel shortages. For the first time, a Malawi newspaper offers readers in-depth stories on key topics such as the near-extinction of fish species vital to the Malawi economy, grain-storage problems that threatened food security, threats to the environment from overuse of charcoal, and efforts to produce ethanol from an indigenous plant.
Under Djokotoe’s guidance, reporters and editors produced more than three dozen in-depth and investigative stories for the English-language Nation and its vernacular sister publication, FUKO. A story on the hardships of rural pregnant women trying in vain to reach clinics to give birth prompted the country’s president to lift a ban on midwives.
Journalists in Malawi receive little or no training, and news organizations suffer from scarce resources. Through workshops and mentoring, Djokotoe worked with more than 100 journalists and journalism students across the country to raise skills and introduce a higher standard of reporting.