Due to constitutional guarantees like freedom of expression and press freedom, Malawians presently enjoy wide access to various types of media and the media landscape continues to evolve. In 2016 Malawi was ranked No.66 out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index which is a drop from its rank in 2015 which was no 59. Though such is the case, no systematic assessment of Malawi's media landscape based on UNESCO's Media Development Indicator(MDIs), has been carried out. Thus there is no empirically based data and well researched information about the state of the media and how environment is facilitating media development programmes in the country.
This prompted the Malawi National Commission for UNESCO to request financial assistance from the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) to enable an assessment of Malawi’s media landscape. Five major MDIs will be assessed through this project namely:
·The system of regulation conducive to freedom of expression, pluralism and diversity of the media in Malawi.
·Plurality and diversity of media, a level economic playing field and transparency of ownership.
·Media as a platform for democratic discourse.
·Professional capacity building and supporting institutions that underpins freedom of expression, Pluralism and diversity Infrastructural capacity in sufficient to support independent and pluralistic media
The project is being executed by the Malawi Polytechnic a constituent college of the University of Malawi.