Wednesday, February 24, 2010

MALAWIAN MEDIA AND THE INTERNET – UPDATE

Several developments have happened since I wrote an article on Malawi media and the internet a few months ago. One notable thing is the improvement of the two popular media houses’ websites.
Zodiak Broadcasting Radio has improved their website and this year Malawians had a rare opportunity of finding the examination results on the internet. The country’s examining body, Malawi National Examinations Board (MANEB), does not have a website (or is it that I don’t know about it?) so Zodiak published the results on their site. It was the same with the 2010 University of Malawi Entrance Exams.

The award winning publishing house, Blantyre Newspapers Limited, is now operating a new website which covers all of its publications, The Daily Times, Sunday Times and Malawi News. Even though at times it is updated a bit late; the BNL Times website is becoming popular among people who need to know what is happening in Malawi. The site is well designed and is interactive and easy to navigate.

Another Malawi online news site was launched recently. The Maravi Post is an improvement of blog called Malawi Politics. It now focuses on a broader picture of what is happening in Malawi than concentrating on politics alone. A seasoned journalist and blogger, Kondwani Bell Munthali is one of the people behind this site which promises to be a trusted source of Malawi News.

The popularity of Facebook, Twitter, Mocospace and other social networking sites among Malawians has contributed to the birth of a Malawian owned social site, ifeyo.com. The brain child of Justin Malewezi Jnr and Hetherwick Ntaba Jnr (sons of well known politicians), ifeyo.com is a platform for young Malawians to network, share pictures, videos and music. It also acts as a discussion forum for young people on various issues concerning them.

With the more and more sites turning to the mobile platform, Malawian developers are not to be left out. Two young Malawians recently launched a site to upload, download and promote music from the mobile phone. Mwtunes.com is giving chance to upcoming musicians to expose their music to the world.

Things are really moving in the Malawian cyberspace even though accessing the internet remains a challenge to an average Malawian. It is still very expensive for one to use the internet especially in the rural areas.