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Journalists@Work: Mabvuto Phiri

In this installment of our Journalists@Work series we meet Mabvuto Phiri, an editor at MUVI TV in Lusaka, Zambia. Mabvuto has been working at MUVI since it started broadcasting and was recently selected to take part in the DW Akademie program, East4South.

Deutsche Welle’s André Leslie spoke to him about everyday life as a journalist in Zambia and a recent court case concerning people who physically attacked him for reporting on a sensitive issue. 

MUVI TV is a relatively new television station in Zambia. What sort of a broadcaster is it?

It is a private television station, established about eight years ago by a Zambian engineer who lived in Germany. A year after starting operations we started our news and current affairs department. I am one of three editors employed full time there in the news department. Really, when we started, our core business was entertainment, but over the years we saw the establishment of the newsroom and the cultural department. When I talk about news and current affairs, I mean really community issues. All of our content is based on what is of interest to ordinary Zambians on the street.

Describe to us your typical work day in the newsroom at MUVI TV.

My day starts early. I have to be part of an editorial meeting at 730am, where I present at least three news ideas which have to be worked on during that day. Today I am the news producer, so by about 2pm, I am looking around at what is available in terms of breaking news content. At the same time I help out with editing texts and pictures.  It’s a hectic day. You have to watch what is happening around the world then link that to what is happening in Zambia and local issues. That’s actually pretty difficult.

What sort of challenges do you face working as a journalist? Are there censorship issues or problems with the government getting involved?

There are a number of different things that affect our work negatively here as journalists in Zambia. Not just technical problems but also there is some threatening of journalists going on. I have to admit that I have been a victim of both verbal and physical abuse whilst working out in the field.

Click below to hear more….


Friday 2012-07-27



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