Already battling an image crisis after mass resignations of reporters, journalists rejecting jobs and poor editorial work, two more incidents have dragged Times Media Group deeper into the mud of bad publicity and laughable view of professionalism.
On Saturday, the Group’s flagship newspaper Malawi News led with a public relations piece that has set tongues wagging on social media about the integrity of the editors.
Commentators on social media wonder how a paper that calls itself an investigative publication opted to abandon such a call of reporting to carry a piece of advertising meant for some profile pages inside the paper.
A day before that, Times made yet another bad headline for itself from a talk show programme that went so badly against its host Brian Banda.
Banda is known for his incompetence and ignorance of issues but often disguises his ineptude through abusing his interviewees with senseless questions.
However on Friday, his incompetence was exposed by DPP member Ken Msonda who kept the hapless Banda on the backfoot and he schooled him on a number of issues.
The interview was such a flop on the part of Times and Brian Banda that there are comments flying on social media about how low they have both become and dragged Malawi journalism into disrepute.
A well known political commentator posted on Facebook:
“Just finished listening to Brian Banda-Ken Msonda Interview….how low, what a shame!”
Another observer also writes on Facebook:
“Times Group might be the oldest media house in the country but they have very little to show by example as a ‘leader’. Cases in point: it is surprising that editors allowed Malawi News’ lead…. and then there is this audio clip circulating of Brian Banda interviewing Ken Msonda, where I can debate on that the journalist is on several times of the interview out of order….but all that and more passes at Times Group.”