Malawi has moved six positions up on the 2018 World Press Freedom Index as compiled and released by Reporters Without Borders.
According to the report, Malawi is currently on position sixty-four from position seventy in 2017.
The report further said freedom to inform has improved in Malawi for the past fifteen years and the number of abuses against reporters has fallen dramatically.
Among other milestones, in 2015, Parliament approved the Access to Information Act after more than a decade of lobbying for the same.
Nonetheless, the law, which allows journalists to request information about elected officials and government institutions, still authorizes imprisonment of those who “insult” the head of state.
For instance, the report cited a local newspaper when it had to apologize in February 2018, after the governing party criticized the paper for allegedly favoring the opposition in its reporting.
Despite the Access to Information Act yet to be operational, Malawi’s reap on the latest index offers hope for media growth.
Reporters Without Borders or RSF, uses a questionnaire which focuses on criteria categories as the country’s performance as regards pluralism, media independence and respect for the safety and freedom of journalists.
Ever since the 2013 index, countries have been given scores ranging from Zero to One Hundred, with Zero being the best possible score and One Hundred the worst.