An editorial oversight in Saturday’s Malawi News final copy has simply proved fears that Times Group deliberately connives within its newsrooms to twist stories and put government in bad light. Saturday’s Malawi News carried a story entitled “The Defiant Chaponda” in relation to Agriculture Minister’s failure to appear before the Joint Parliamentary Inquiry on purchase of maize by Admarc.
Managing Editor George Kasakula, had instructed author of the story, Ntchindi Meki, to ignore Chaponda’s reason of failing to appear before Parliament.
Whereas Chaponda told the paper that he got an invitation to Parliament very late while he was in Blantyre, Kasakula told Meki to tell the nation that the minister ignored any calls from Times Group. When the final copy reached Kasakula’s desk, he printed angry instructions upon noticing that the reporter maintained the version that the minister received an invitation very late to manage a 360-km trip from Blantyre to Lilongwe.
Copy designers at the media house forgot to delete Kasakula’s instructions from the final copy and the embarrassing revelation made way to the street only to be noticed by readers. Times Group’s editorial policy has been questioned by Malawians for its persistence in attacking Professor Mutharika and his government even when there is no tangible evidence against them.