THE coming in of technology has given most youth in Malawi a wide range of choice when it comes to source of information.
Social media platforms which are accessible on mobile phones, desktop and laptops have proven to be the most reliable source of information for the youth.
In a survey conducted by The Express, out of 30 respondents, 24 respondents, which represents 80 percent of the participants revealed they prefer using social media platforms and websites to radio and television.
They articulated the interactive aspect of the internet as a drive to its use.
Among the social media platforms, Facebook and WhatsApp are the most used platforms by the youth of Malawi.
“I prefer to use social media platforms as they are user friendly and regard audience as passive. We can comment on whatever it is we get from the social media unlike on radio, television and print newspapers,” said one of the participants.
Political segment, sports and showbiz which most of the times is composed of entertainment issues were top rank as most read and visited categories on technology platforms.
Newspapers have also seen a drastic change as they are also going digital. A digital newspaper can either be independent without a print version of it or it can have a print version of it as a supporting publication as demand for technology is increasing.
Malawi has a number of online news platforms which are in terms of a blog where issues surrounding a certain topic are discussed while some contain all issues that make up news.
With elections and the world cup tournament coming ahead, most youths have expounded that they look for news on the internet at least thrice a day.
They attributed to their visiting news sites to the need to get familiar with what is happening around them in the world of sports and politics.
Radios and television on the other hand are not having a huge audience as most respondents of the survey complained of blackouts since they are devices that depend on electricity.
Only 20 percent of the random survey respondents said they rely on radio and television as sources of information.
Some say whenever they board a minibus to work or school it’s when they have the opportunity to listen to the news on the radio otherwise when they are at home they prefer using their phones.
“The only time I listen to the radio is when I am in a minibus because I rarely have time to sit down and listen to the radio or watch television,” explained one respondent.
“I only have time to watch television when something serious has happened and mostly I prefer television when it comes to football,” added another.
However, some radio stations in the country introduced an SMS alert system where the audience can subscribe at a certain fee to be getting breaking news stories anytime it happens. This development shows that it is not only the aspect of the internet in technology that provides a platform for the youth to access news but also anyone who does not have internet facilities can access news from their handsets.