The Malawi chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Malawi) has announced how charged media practitioners are for this year's celebrations of the World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) on 3 May 2012.
A MISA-Malawi statement said media practitioners will this year celebrate in all three regions of the country, with the main celebration taking place in Lilongwe on Saturday, 5 May. This year's celebrations will be held under the theme "New Voices: Media Freedom and Social Change."
The statement explains that the theme aims to cast the spotlight on the importance of new media and media freedom in promoting change and national development.
"MISA-Malawi has, however, decided not to feature freedom marches during the Blantyre and Mzuzu celebrations to honor our late president Professor Bingu Wa Mutharika," the statement reads.
The media body announced that celebrations are scheduled to start in Blantyre on Friday, 27 April.
The Blantyre celebrations will focus on "Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression: The Role of Human Rights Defenders in Promoting the rule of Law and Constitutionalism in Malawi", which has been funded by UNESCO.
Celebrations from the northern city of Mzuzu is scheduled to host a second debate and freedom march on Saturday, 28 April. The Mzuzu debate will focus on "New Media and Social Change: Opportunities and Challenges for Malawi", and will be funded by the Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy.
The main event, scheduled for Lilongwe will include a freedom march, a football game, a gala dinner, media awards and a debate on "New media and National Development: Opportunities and Challenges for Malawi", funded by the German Embassy.