MUST students visit NPL
By Jonathan Phiri, Blessings Phiri & Anastanzia Namaliya
Language, Communication and Culture second year students from the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) on April 28, 2023, visited Nation Publications Limited (NPL) head office in Blantyre to appreciate newspaper production process.
The students undertook the tour to complement their Print Media class work with industrial practical appreciation.
An editor an NPL, Bright Kumwenda, made a presentation of the newspaper production process before taking the students on a company tour, visiting the newsroom, design studio and library, among others.
“News writing starts with identification of a news idea. When the news idea is newsworthy and has concrete evidence, the editor assigns a reporter to work on it for a story to be published. We also ensure that when reporting, our fidelity is always to the public,” Kumwenda explained.
Myles Mukawa, a technical journalist/designer, also explained how newspaper pages are designed, laid out and planned.
“Ours is like the engine room because all the editorial work is designed and planned here. Once we are done, we send the approved copies electronically to Lilongwe for printing,” said Mukawa.
In the library, where Hastings Maponya was in charge, the students appreciated its importance in news production and beyond.
“The library was set up to capture the company’s history and also our country’s history. It also helps our reporters who often times use it to have background information when they are working on stories similar to those that once happened or stories which are ongoing,” explained Maponya.
Among others, they saw the first copy of the first edition of The Nation which was published on July 26, 1993. The team also learnt that the library also supports researchers, including students, from both Malawi and outside.
In his remarks, lecturer James Mphande, thanked NPL management for allowing the students to visit the company and appreciate is production processes.
“We have collaborated with NPL in many ways before but this was a first for our students to visit this company. Apart from the knowledge, they have also been inspired through interaction with some of the big name journalists they found here,” said Mphande.
The students described the trip as significant and an eye opener, saying seeing a newspaper being produced has helped them to see some of the theories and concepts they learn in practice.
“Imagine during the presentation, we were able to follow it because most of the terms mentioned were familiar,” said Anastanzia Namaliya, one of the students.
Students on the trip were Namaliya, Charles Noniwa, Sithembile Mtambo, Blessings Phiri, Monalissah Chimtolo, Chikumbutso Mwale, Chikondi Masache, Symon Ganizani, Peggy Mphonda, Williams Mhango and Jonathan Phiri.