Malawi institute of Journalism Prospectus
Malawi Institute of Journalism
The Malawi Institute of Journalism (the MIJ) wishes
to welcome each of you as you start a journey into pursuing a rewarding career
in Journalism. This handbook is to serve as a useful guide to answer many of
You will be responsible for this information, so it
is important to read the entire handbook and digest its contents carefully.
Definitions of certain words as used in
The word “parent” also means
“guardian” unless otherwise stated.
An administrator’s title, such as Course Manager,
tutor, Media training assistant or refers to the individual’s designation as
per specific job description unless otherwise stated.
The word “policy” shall refer to the premise that
guides MIJ’s crucial operations.
The term “school grounds” includes the
school facility, property within the jurisdiction of the school or school
The term “school facilities” includes
school buildings, school-owned or school operated vehicles or any equipment
entrusted to the school by stakeholders.
The term “school activities” means all school
activities in which students are involved whether they are school- sponsored or
school- approved, whether they are an event or an activity, or whether they are
held on or off school grounds.
The term “assessment “means evaluation of students
work through class participation course work assignments and
2.0 MOTTO OF THE MALAWI INSTITUTE OF JOURNALISM (MIJ)
The motto of the MIJ is: “PROMOTING MEDIA INDEPENDENCE
3.0 PHILOSOPHY OF THE MIJ
In line with its motto, it is the philosophy of the
MIJ to provide quality education for its students within the capabilities of
the management. It will therefore endeavor to create a respected, results
oriented and safe environment so as to support the cognitive, affective, social
and professional development
4.0 ABOUT THE MIJ – MEDIA TRAINING
The Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) was set to
improve the quality of journalism in Malawi, by promoting media
independence and professionalism. The MIJ aims at achieving its goals by
providing both short courses and long term courses to individuals and
institutions. MIJ also offers customized training courses in emerging social
and economic issues. MIJ has qualified and experienced personnel in various
fields of journalism.
The Malawi Institute of Journalism as a leading
training institution for professional journalism has its own radio station and
an online newspaper, to offer hands on experience. MIJ is committed to
maintaining excellence in developing media independence and professionalism. As
part of the ongoing development, periodically reviews its curriculum to cater
for the fast growing industry. MIJ currently offers a Certificate and a Diploma
in Journalism Programme.
Certificate Programme requirements;
Applicants should be holders of a Malawi School
Certificate of Education (MSCE), with strong English skills and an interest in
writing and current events. On top of having a credit in English, they must
also have at least 3 credits in any humanities subjects. Applicants have to
apply for a place and enclose a copy of the Malawi School Certificate of
Education (MSCE)/notification of results or its equivalent.
Diploma Programme requirements;
Applicants into this programme should be holders of
a tertiary qualification; either a certificate in journalism or a Degree or
Diploma from a recognized institution. Those with at least two years work
experience in the media or a media related field are also eligible for this
5.0 FEES PAYMENT POLICY
This policy relates to all fees and charges payable
to Malawi Institute of Journalism by students for the use of its facilities and
the provision of its services. This includes tuition fees, examinations,
library, studio facilities and other miscellaneous fees and charges as
determined by MIJ from time to time.
MIJ will at all times seek to be sympathetic to, and
understanding of, each individual student’s financial circumstances. However,
for MIJ to do so, students must engage in dialogue with the Course Manager/
Course Administrators if financial difficulties are being experienced.
MIJ will take proper action to enforce settlement of
debt for outstanding fees and legal action may be taken against all students
who fail to honor agreements, or have failed to pay balances by the end of the
5.1 Tuition fees
As part of the registration process, each student is
required to sign a declaration acknowledging that they are personally liable to
MIJ for payment of tuition and related fees. In the event of any fee-paying
body not making payment on their behalf, each student undertakes to make
payment of the full amount due to MIJ. This declaration states “I acknowledge
that I am personally liable to MIJ for the payment of tuition fees. In the
event of any fee-paying authority or other person or body not making payment on
my behalf, I undertake to make payment of the full amount due.
In the event of a query or dispute in relation to
the actual tuition and related fees invoiced (as opposed to the method of
payment or payment difficulties), please contact the Course Manager.
It should be noted that Media Training tutors
are not empowered to vary fees or agree payment schedules with students on
behalf of MIJ
MIJ follows the modular system. This means that new
modules (courses) are taken and completed in one semester. The fees are charged
per semester to cater for the modules offered in that particular semester. The
fees are currently at MK170, 000/semester for the Certificate and MK170,
000/semester for the Diploma programme. Custom made courses are K45 000 per
module. Fees may be adjusted at any time depending on the prevailing economic
Fees shall be paid in full before or at
the start of the course. MIJ Management shall however consider payment by
installments with our payment plan; this is the minimum requirement that MIJ
Payment of not less than half of the total
amount for that particular Semester at the commencement of the semester i.e.
before the student enrolls
The rest of the money for the semester is paid by
equal installments in the subsequent months after the commencement of the
semester. Failure to make payment on the assigned times may attract a penalty.
Fees shall be for registration, tuition and
Other expenses such as those listed below shall be
met by the students:
- Text Books
- ID cards
To facilitate learning students must have a
Camera, for photojournalism, a Recorder for broadcast media News production,
and have access to personal computers where possible. These are basic pieces of
equipment that a journalist must have.
5.2 Important Note on Tuition Fees:
All fees are non-refundable, non-transferable and
may be reviewed/ adjusted from time to time without consultation with students.
A minimum Deposit of 50% of the total fees must be
paid before attending classes only in the first month of the semester.
A student who does not pay fees or part of it WILL
NOT BE REGISTERED.
FEES ONCE PAID ARE NOT REFUNDABLE.
Closing date for paying last installment of tuition
fees is the month end of the third month after school commences, i.e. if school
opens in January closing date for settling fees balances will be the month end
of March, etc.
Students who do not settle their fees balances by
the time examinations start WILL NOT BE
ALLOWED TO WRITE EXAMINATIONS.
6.0 STUDENTS ACTIVITIES
6.1 Daily Class attendance
Class attendance is mandatory. This means that
students are expected to be in class at the scheduled times and make attendance
a top priority. Only through attendance and class participation do students
achieve the benefits of the education programme.
Participating in class discussions helps the student
develop an appreciation for the view and abilities if others. This is a crucial
attribute for a people intensive profession like journalism. Forming the habit
of regular class attendance is a legitimate class objective. Learning that has
been lost due to an absence can never be replaced.
Since class participation is an important aspect of
evaluation, a substantial portion of the student’s final grade is based on the
student’s involvement in course activities. Students should therefore only be
absent for legitimate reasons.
Any student who misses classes frequently for
reasons that are not genuine may be asked to repeat or be excluded from
examination and from the programme. Planned absences can only be approved
by the Course Manager.
6.2 Course work / continuous assessment
Continuous assessment plays an important role in
shaping a student’s learning. It helps both the tutor and the student to
identify strengths and weaknesses in the learning styles and strategies. It
also helps the tutors identify ways to help a student improve and enhance
Course work is done through specified tasks given as
class work, home work, group work or long term assignments. This work can be in
an essay form, quiz, oral presentations practical work, tests, or mid –
semester examinations. The importance of this kind of assessment cannot be over
As part of assessment a student is required to
produce a portfolio of practical work that has been done on their own
initiative, which forms a grade with other practicals like attachment. This
could be a Documentary for TV or Radio, a feature for a newspaper etc. The
portfolio should be submitted to the Course Manager or the centre coordinator
at the end of the reading week to be assessed together with attachment at
Certificate level, and as part of continuous assessment at Diploma level.
6.4 Student Union
The MIJ Student Union is organized for the purpose
of sponsoring extracurricular activities and promoting school spirit in all
functions. Union members seek students’ active support and enthusiasm for the
development of a wide variety of activities.
There are a number of clubs available for student
participation. Students are encouraged to join at least one club.
6.6 Resource Centre/Library /computer lab
This is open throughout the school hours. All
students require cards and identities to borrow materials. Once inside students
are supposed to strictly follow all the library rules and regulations.
7.0 EXAMINATION RULES AND REGULATIONS
Attendance and identification
Candidates writing examinations are responsible for
arriving at the right time. They must have their identification
cards in their possession. Forgetfulness or inadvertently arriving late
cannot be considered acceptable excuses.
Only currently registered students who have finished
paying their tuition fees will be permitted to write the final exam.
The doors of the examination room will be Closed 15
Minutes before the start of the examination. Candidates arriving late after
exams have commenced will not be allowed to sit for that particular paper.
Rules and regulations
- Candidates must not begin the examination or
attempt to read the examination questions until instructed to do so.
- Candidates once having entered cannot leave the
exam room before completing and submitting the exam, the use of bathrooms
should be done before entering the exam room.
- Candidates must remain seated and may not leave
the examination room during the last 15 minutes of the examination session.
- At the close of the examination period,
candidates must stop writing immediately. The Invigilator may seize the papers
of candidates who fail to observe this requirement, and a penalty may be
imposed at the discretion of the invigilation.
- Candidates must submit all their work, according
to the instructions of the invigilator, including all materials and a copy of
the examination paper with their name and student ID number written on it.
Unused examination booklets may not be taken from the examination room.
- A candidate who leaves before the examination is
over must hand in all completed and attempted work, notes made during the exam,
and a copy of the examination paper with their name and student ID number on
- Talk or any form of communication between
candidates is absolutely forbidden. No information of any kind is to be written
on the question paper or on scrap paper for the purpose of assisting other
candidates. Responses to questions must not be done in an exaggerated way or in
a manner that will involve transmission of information to others.
- Candidates must remain seated during the
examination period. A candidate needing to speak to the invigilator (e.g. to
ask for ruler, additional papers or to request permission to leave the
examination room for any reason) should indicate by raising his or her hand.
- Questions concerning possible errors,
ambiguities or omissions in the examination paper must be directed to the
invigilator who will investigate them through the proper channels. The
invigilator is not permitted to answer questions other than those concerning
the examination paper.
Materials and aids
Candidates must not use or attempt to use any
improper source of information. No candidates for an examination may bring into
the examination room any books, notes or other material containing information
pertaining to the examination unless the examiner has given instructions that
such material will be allowed and this instruction is specified on the
examination paper. Any item brought into the examination room is subject to
- No electronic or communication devices will be
allowed in the examination room, including cell phones, recorders etc.
Calculators are not allowed unless specified by the instructor and indicated on
the examination paper.
- Except for bottled water, no food or drink is
allowed in the examination room. Candidates with health problems that warrant
relaxation of this regulation should provide medical documentation to the
Course Manager prior to the beginning of the examination. Such students should
restrict themselves to those items and packaging that will least distracts
Letters of excuse
- All letters should be addressed to the Course
- Letters of excuse are tendered when a member of
the family has died or was ill and this affected the student in some way.
- Students given special assignments by their
employer during examinations – a letter must come from their employers.
- Students, who miss an examination for valid
medical or compassionate reasons, can re-sit the examination without penalty at
the next scheduled sitting, but students who miss examination without
authorization or due to fees balances, will have to sit for deferred
examinations at a fee. Currently the fees for deferred examinations are
K6, 500.00 per module.
8.0 ASSESSMENT POLICY
This policy describes the general principles that
guide the MIJ’s assessment practices. The policy may change from time to
time to align both formative and summative evaluation with current demands of
the media industry.
Each module will be assessed in the most appropriate
manner as follows;
Theory based modules, the grade will constitute of
40% course work assignments and 60% of written examination.
Practical based modules will constitute of 60% class
assignments and practical and 40% of written exams.
A grade that determines the award (Final grade) will
constitute of 75% of the average grade from all modules and 25 %
Practical/Attachments for the Certificate program and 25% Research Project for
the Diploma program.
i. Semester Assessment
For all semester results; a student will only be
PASS if he/she has passed all the required
courses/modules in that semester- a student is supposed to take a minimum
of FOUR modules a semester
FAIL if he/she has failed any course/module, in
this case a student will be required to sit for supplementary exams if the
grade is between 35%-39% and will be required to repeat the course if the grade
is less than 35%.
ii. Final Assessment
This assessment combines all the courses/modules for
the whole programme to come up with a final grade.
A grade that determines the award (Final grade) will
constitute of 75% of the average grade from all courses and 25 % Practical/Attachments
for the Certificate programme and 25% Research Project for the Diploma
To qualify for a Diploma, students must complete and
pass all the prescribed courses in the programme including the PROJECT.
To qualify for a Certificate, students must complete
and pass all the prescribed courses and the Attachment/Practical.
8.2 The Grading System
The following grading system is used:
|60-69||Pass with Credit|
These are the exclusive mandate of the ACADEMIC COMMITTEE of the MIJ and
are done following the guidelines below:
Pass with Distinction
To be awarded a pass with Distinction, a student
will be required to score minimum average of 70% or above and must also fulfill
the following requirements
Certificate in Journalism
Distinction Passes (70 -100%) in all Core
modules AND the Practical; the other modules should be
credits (60% or above).
Diploma in Journalism
Distinction Passes (70 -100%) in all Core
modules including the PROJECT the other modules should be credits
(60% or above).
Pass with Credit
To be awarded a pass with Credit, a student will be required
to score an average of 60% or above and must also fulfill the following minimum
Certificate in journalism
Credit passes (60-69%) in at all Core
modules AND the Practical the other modules should be
good passes (50% or above).
Diploma in Journalism
Credit passes (60-69%) in all Core modules including
the PROJECT the other modules should be good passes (50% or above).
To be awarded a pass, a student will be required to
score a minimum mark of 40% in all the courses at any level.
Certificate in journalism
Pass (40%- 59%) in all modules and the
Diploma in Journalism
Passes (40-59%) in all modules including
A student is considered as failed if a student
has scored an average of less than 40% or has scored less than 40 % in a number
of modules as follows
Certificate in Journalism
If a student fails more than four
modules will be considered as having failed the Certificate course and
will have to repeat the whole programme if they want to proceed to Diploma.
If a student fails any module with a grade less than
35% will be required to repeat the module
Diploma in Journalism
If a student fails the research project and
more than four modules will be considered as having failed the Diploma
If a student fails any module with a grade less than
35% will be required to repeat the course/module.
8.3 Supplementary Exams
A student at any level could be allowed to sit for
supplementary examinations in any module up to a maximum of four
modules, if the grade is between 35-39%.
8.4 Examination Fees
Examination fees apply only to those students who
miss the scheduled examinations for some reason. These are revised from time to
time and the following are the current rates:
Remarking the project
Where a student is dissatisfied with the grade
received in the final examination, she/he may request remarking. This request
has to be made within a week of receiving the unofficial results. The
fee for remarking is indicated under examination fees.
Requests for remarking should be put in writing and
submitted to the Course Manager, approved by the Executive Director. The
request for marking can only be honored if your performance in class and in the
continuous assessment is satisfactory and your class attendance regular. Your request
will not be entertained once the official results are released.
8.6 Examination results
All things considered, unofficial examination
results should be expected four weeks after the end of the examination.
8.7 Students with disabilities
Currently the institution does not have a set policy
for students with disabilities. However the MIJ has ever given to students with
disabilities but have an interest in journalism, the kind of assistance that is
within the institution’s capacity to do so.
9.0 EXPECTATIONS AND RULES REGULATING BEHAVIOUR
This section of the handbook is an extension of the
board policy and a reflection of the goals and objectives of the Institution.
The board, administration and employees expect students to conduct themselves in
a manner fitting to their age level and maturity and with respect and
consideration for the rights of others.
Respect for authority – every student has a
right to be taught and to be heard by those in authority. But let us remember that
every right goes with responsibility.
rules, regulations and established procedures – these are
put there as controls, checks and balances to avoid chaos. Let us respect
Respect for all staff – Students are expected
to treat teachers, employees, students, with respect and courtesy. Disrespect
for any member of staff will have serious consequences.
Respect for property – show respect for the
property of the institution, staff and fellow students. Do not keep or take
what does not belong to you. The most sensible thing is to surrender it to the
class rep who will take it to the Course Manager or centre coordinators.
Respect for non personnel – show respect to
visitors and guests who visit the MIJ. Practice what you learn by respecting
other people’s right to be different from you.
Respect for the profession – the training you
get from MIJ is supposed to prepare you for the employment and employable
behavior. Therefore use your time at the MIJ to practice employable behavior
like punctuality and keeping to deadlines. E.g. be on time for classes and
other activities, dress decently, submit assignments in time.
Students may not use abusive
language, profanity or obscene
gestures or language.
Bullying of any kind will not be tolerated.
Anyone found/reported bullying will be subjected to stiff disciplinary
Cell phones are not allowed inside the classes
or other teaching settings unless they are switched off. Using a telephone in
class is tantamount to human rights abuse. Use break time or any other free
time to make phone calls.
Substance abuse should be avoided at all times.
Smoking, drinking or bringing alcoholic beverages into the campus is strictly
prohibited. Any student found drinking; drunk, smoking Indian hemp or tobacco
will be suspended. A student coming to attend classes while drunk will be
subjected to disciplinary actions.
9.3 Dress and Deportment
While it is appreciated that there is freedom of
dress in the country, the nature of the journalism profession demands that a
journalist should look presentable at all times. We trust that students will
exercise prudence in their choice of clothes to wear. Clothes that are too
revealing or scruffy dent the image of the profession.
Follow these guidelines in choosing what to wear.
Avoid beach type clothing – it is suitable only for
Under garments should not be visible
Bare midriffs are not appropriate
Hats, toques and bandanas are not allowed
Clothing with inappropriate slogans or graphics is
Sunglasses should not be worn in the classroom
9.4 Absence from classes
Please notify the Course Manager/Centre Coordinator
in goodtime if you are unable to fulfill your assignments or write examinations
in good time because of illness. If you have been instructed by the doctor to
rest, BRING A MEDICAL DOCUMENT OR A NOTE FROM THE DOCTOR BEFORE THE EXAMS AND
Never take friends or personal guests into the
classroom. Attend to all visitors outside when you are free.
We are proud that ever since its inception the MIJ
has had students who consistently display self discipline and good citizenship.
We would like to encourage you to keep it up. In some cases however, misbehavior
occurs and this will be treated accordingly.
The rules and regulations contained in this handbook
are in effect while students are on school grounds, or on property within the
jurisdiction of the school; while on school-owned and/or school-operated vehicles
or chartered buses; while attending or engaged in school activities; and while
away from school grounds if the misconduct directly affects the good order,
efficient management and welfare of the school or involves students or
A violation of a school policy, rule, regulation or
student handbook may result in disciplinary action and may affect a student’s
eligibility to participate in various school activities.
Students are expected to comply with and abide by
the school rules, regulations and student handbook. Students who fail to abide
by the school district’s policies, rules, regulations and student handbook may
be disciplined for conduct which disrupts or interferes with the education
program; conduct which disrupts the orderly and efficient operation of the
school district or school activity; conduct which disrupts the rights of other
students to obtain their education or to participate in school activities; or
conduct which interrupts the maintenance of a disciplined atmosphere.
The class rep to report the case to the class tutor
The class l tutor to report the case to Course
Manager/Centre Coordinator/ Course Administrator
The Course Manager/Centre Coordinator/ Course
Administrator to summon the concerned student to appear before two or three
tutors who then decide what punitive measures to take.
Disciplinary measures include, but are not
- Removal from the classroom,
Discipline can also include prohibition from
accessing school’s facilities such as the computer lab, the studios etc. The
discipline imposed is based upon the facts and circumstances surrounding the
incident and the student’s record.
Students who are suspended from the institution
cannot be on school property and cannot participate in any school
The school reserves and retains the right to modify,
eliminate or establish school policies, rules, regulations and student handbook
provisions as circumstances warrant. Students are expected to know the contents
of the handbook and comply with it. Students or parents/guardians with
questions or concerns may contact the School Office for information about the
current enforcement of the policies, rules, regulations or student handbook of
the school district.
10.0 STUDENTS HEALTH AND WELL BEING
A student who becomes ill or is injured at school
must notify the school office as soon as possible. Upon assessment, the school
office will take the necessary action. While the school is not
responsible for treating medical emergencies, employees may administer
emergency or minor first aid if possible. The school will attempt to notify the
parents where necessary.
10.1 Health and Safety
The health and safety of students and employees is
always prioritized. In case of any developing health hazard, the school office
should be notified immediately. The school office should take necessary action
to address the concern.
10.2 Sexual Abuse and Harassment of Students by Employees
The school does not tolerate employees to physically
or sexually abusing or harassing students. Students who are physically or
sexually abused or harassed by an employee should notify the Course Manager,
parents, or another employee who ever they may feel comfortable with. In an event
of sexual abuse and harassment allegations against an employee; the school will
designate an independent investigator to look into the allegations.
Sexual abuse includes, but is not limited to:
- Sexual acts involving a student
- Intentional sexual behavior
- Sexual harassment
Sexual harassment is defined as behavior such as but
not limited to:
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Requests for sexual favors
- Other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual
nature when submission to such conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly
a term or condition of the student’s education benefits
- When submission to or rejection of the conduct
is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting that student.
In an event of death of student during breaks or
semester time; the school is supposed to be notified. During semester time, the
school encourages students to pay the last respect by attending the funeral.
Where transport is required to facilitate the logistical requirements to attend
the funeral, the school provides such transport as required. The school is
however not mandated to provide more than this.
It is essential that the MIJ operates within
frameworks which respect people’s right to privacy, fairness and yet allow
investigations on matters which are in the public interest.
Private behavior, correspondence and conversation
should not be brought into the public domain unless there is a clear public
interest. The mere fact that other parts of the media have reported private
behavior is not itself sufficient justification for MIJ students to report
12.0 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
Reporting of any grievance should follow proper
procedures and should always be documented including evidence where necessary.
All students should lodge their written complaints
through the students union who will take the complaint to the Course Manager
where the Course Manager is not a concerned party. When the Course Manager is a
concerned party the written complaints should be forwarded to the Executive
All grievances should have all relevant evidence to
be made with submission.
13.0 ACADEMIC CALENDER
An academic calendar is produced every academic
year. It highlights important activities and dates. Every student should ensure
that they obtain one and keep it close for reference.
14.0 IMPORTANT TIPS!
HERE ARE TIPS THAT WILL HELP YOU BECOME MORE EFFICIENT IN YOUR CAREER AS A
1.0 STUDY SKILLS
- Concentrate on your tutor as she /he lectures
- Tune out noise and talking
- Listen for the main ideas
- Focus on the 5W’s and 1 H: – What? Why? Where?
When? Who? How?
TAKING NOTES FROM A LECTURE OR A TEXTBOOK
- Listen 80% and write 20% of the time
- Do not write down everything
- Record the main ideas and supporting facts use
your own words as far as possible
- Keep your notes organized
- Study more regularly for shorter periods. This
often works better than one long study and cramming session
- After school, quickly review your notes for that
- Highlight important points and add notes and
explanations if necessary
- Apply what you have learned as soon as possible
- Study with a friend. Ask each other questions
and simulate situations that you are likely to meet in your course of work
e.g. interviewing a source, reporting for TV or Radio
- If possible find your own quiet place to study
- Keep your workplace clean and uncluttered. This
will help you locate study material easily
- Make sure you have good lighting, a straight
chair, and fresh air
- Quiet background music may help to keep you
DO NOT STUDY IN THE FOLLOWING SITUATIONS:
- Loud TV or Radio
- When you are hungry
- With a bed close by
- At a place with a lot of distractions
- When you are feeling sleepy
STUDYING FOR A TEST
- Make an effort to know what type of a test you
will take(essay, multiple choice, etc)
- Set up a study schedule and review everything
well before the test
- Write out likely questions and answer them
- Get enough rest the night before the test
- Come to the test prepared (bring pens pencils
calculator if necessary)
TAKING A MULTIPLE CHOICE TEST
- Read each question carefully
- Before looking at the alternative/possible
answers, try to form the answer in your mind
- Read all the answers. Watch for words such as
always, often, never only or except
- Do not change the answer that comes to mind
first unless you are absolutely certain it is wrong
- Try to leave some time before the end of the
test to review your answers and correct errors
TAKING AN ESSAY- TYPE TEST
- Read through the questions and mark the ones
that are easier
- Estimate how much time you have to answer each
- Answer easier questions first to build your
- Read questions several times to ensure you
understand what is being asked
- Answer essay questions this way:
a rough outline
with a topic sentence that includes the key words of the question
your answer with specific examples and detailed information
by summing up your answer
- Never rush. If you run out of time on a
certain question, leave some room and return to it later.
2.0 WRITING SKILLS
A Journalist’s core business is writing. Whatever
information a journalist has to communicate on Radio, TV or the newspaper, it
has to be written first.
The goal of the journalist must therefore be to
acquire good writing skills and habits.
When writing consider the following:
TOPIC– what are you going to write about?
- Sometimes the topic is determined for you
- If not write about something that interests you
After you know your topic, narrow it to a manageable
- Crime in Malawi
- Armed robbery in cities in Malawi
- Armed robbery in Mzuzu
Focus your writing on a main idea or
- Develop a thesis statement that briefly
expresses your point of view -e.g. armed robbery has increased in Mzuzu city
since the Taifa Market burned down last November.
STRATEGY – How will you write?
Consider the following:
What is the purpose of your writing?
- You can write to INFORM, to PERSUADE, to
ENTERTAIN, or to INSTRUCT.
- Deciding what purpose of your writing is will
give you insight into how to write e.g. if you are writing to persuade, you
might include examples that prove or give support to your claim.
Who is your intended audience?
- Your method of writing differs depending on the
audience or the person(s) you are writing for e.g. Writing to friend vs.
to your boss.
- Adjust your style and language for each
- Know your audiences background, level of
education, status, beliefs and adjust your style accordingly
What point of view will you use?
- Point of view refers to the angle/position from
which you write a story, .i.e. you may write as an observer and report as such
or you may write as a participant in the story and write with your own voice.
- The general rule is: pick a point of view and
stick to it e.g. Nonfiction (factual) writing
You can write with your own voice or without
With: from my
analysis I believe the country’s economy will improve in the coming year.
Without: based on this
analysis it can be concluded that the country’s economy will improve in
the coming year.
Fiction (creative/imaginative) writing
You can write in either the first person or the third
First: “the girl with
the bundle of blankets in her hands came and stood close to me as I was waiting
to cross the road. Suddenly I saw her throw the bundle down and started to run
as a police van was passing. The bundle started to cry… Then I realized the
girl had stolen a baby.
girl with the bundle in her hands stood by the road waiting to cross. Suddenly
she threw the bundle down and started to run as a police van was passing.
The bundle started to cry…The girl had stolen a baby.
What form will you give your writing?
- A form of writing is called a genre
- Different forms /genres (e.g., essay, book
review, commentary, opinion) have different requirements
- Determine or ask your tutor what form you should
CONTENT– What information do you need?
Research your topic thoroughly
- Start with general references – encyclopedias,
- Go specific – books, magazines, internet,
interviews – to get more detail
- Take notes as you go
- Write down relevant information
- Do not write down everything. Taking too many
notes will just drown you in information, thereby making it harder for you to
chose the relevant information you need to write a coherent article
Make an outline
- As you take notes form general ideas about you
- Take those ideas and make a general outline of
your paper /article or essay
- Write down each main idea then organize them
into coherent paragraphs
WRITING – finally it is time for the
Write your first draft
- Begin with a brief interesting introduction
- Include your thesis statement
- Develop each main idea into a paragraph and each
paragraph in turn as a whole. For interest, vary the length
- Make sure each paragraph is linked to the next
and the previous
- Use your best arguments at the beginning and
near the end
- Close with a restatement of your original thesis
Revise your draft
- Read your article out loud slowly, listening for
- Proofread for spelling and grammatical errors
- Take out redundant phrases (ones that repeat
what has already been said
- Make sure the sentences have enough variety t
keep readers interested
- Check that all your paragraphs provide
- Clear up any vague or ambiguous sentences
Write the final draft
- Make it look good!
DOCUMENTATION – how do you acknowledge sources
of your information?
- Make sure that you always acknowledge sources of
your information(books, journals, newspaper articles magazines ,internet,
or even the people you have interviewed)
- Learn about different methods of documentation
and find out what method your institution or organization uses.
3. 0 CAREER PREPARATION
Training as a journalist is a significant step in
the preparation of a career in the media. But remember that success does not
come by itself; you have to make a plan to succeed in the career that you have
chosen. Chart your course! The sooner you start, the sooner you will begin to
achieve your goals.
Here are some tips on STEPS TO TAKE for you to
achieve your goals:
1. ASSESS YOURSELF
Employers are looking for certain skills
- What interests and skills have you developed?
- What do you like best: working with people,
things or ideas?
- What goals and values have you set for yourself?
2. EXPLORE POSSIBILITIES
Are you interested in other media
- Find out what other careers are there which
benefit from the foundation knowledge and skills that you acquire from the
journalism training. A trained journalist does not need to limit himself /herself
to the airwaves! There are numerous job opportunities out there waiting to use
the knowledge and skills you have acquired in your journalism training!
- Search the web
- Check them out by volunteering or working part
- Get to know what they are all about through
talking to people in a specific field, observing them at work or professional
- Find out about internships, part time jobs and
3. INFORM YOUR SELF
Investigate a variety of possibilities
- Know the facts
- What skills and competencies are required?
- Is there room for professional growth?
- How big is the market for the media and media
related jobs ?
- What is the projected growth?
The more knowledge you have about a career the
better prepared you are to make an informed decision
4. PREPARE YOURSELF
Get ready and prepare your job hunting
- Have a portfolio of the work you did as you
trained (see page 6)
- Create a CV, or resume and cover letter(
emphasize the skills and competencies you have acquired in your training )
- Contact people for references
- Investigate companies that interest you
5. PRESENT YOURSELF
Make yourself stand out!
- Only if you acquire specialized, employability
skills can you stand out and impress potential employers. You must therefore
endeavor to develop these skills as you train.
Malawi Institute of
P.O. Box 30165, Chichiri, Blantyre 3