BLANTYRE NEWSPAPERS LIMITED (BNL)
Blantyre Newspapers Limited (BNL) is a subsidiary of Blantyre Printing and Publishing Company Limited which has interests in general printing through its other subsidiary, Blantyre Print and Packaging Limited.
BNL commenced its operations in 1895. So it is Malawi's oldest media group having been in business for 116 years now. Although its head office is in Blantyre, it produces national papers and it has offices in Lilongwe, Zomba, Mangochi, Mzuzu and a number of satellite depots.
2. Core values
The core values for BNL include; Integrity (Dealing fairly and honestly), Servants heart (caring and willingness to serve timely). Quality (offering values for money), Innovation (promoting and creating new ideas), Environmental Protection (creating a healthy and safe environment and avoiding pollution and wastage of resources.)
These core values govern how BNL conducts its business with its various stakeholders; customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers, authorities and even fellow media practitioners.
3. Shareholding and Ownership
Over the years, Blantyre Newspapers Limited has seen many changes in ownership. The original owners in 1895 were R.S.Hynde, W.D. Farquharand W.M. Guinness.
In 1969 the company was bought by Thomson Publications Limited. It was later, in 1972, sold to the first President of Malawi, late Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda. In 1997 the shares of the company were transferred to Chayamba Trust.
Currently, BNL is wholly owned by Chayamba Trust and it is governed by an independent Board of Directors chaired by a Mr Francis Pelekamoyo, (Chairman), Mrs Jane Dzanjalimodzi, Dr. Zingano and Mr. Leonard Chikadya (Managing Director).
5. Competitive Advantage
BNL is a professionally managed company which is independent of any political affiliation. The governance structures provide for autonomy and freedom of journalists to practice their trade without hindrances.
BNL has remained relevant in the face of political and economic changes and is therefore a beacon of media history in Malawi, It has served the country well through the colonial era, the first republic and even the second republic. Staff are guided by the core values as well as a progressive Editorial Policy and Code of Ethics which emphasises independence and professionalism.
6. Circulation & Distribution
Blantyre Newspapers Limited produces five national publications; The Daily Times, Malawi News, The Sunday Times, The Weekend Times and The Business Times with a total monthly circulation of around 500,000 copies. The newspapers are distributed throughout the country. BNL also publishes a bi-monthly magazine, Lifestyle Magazine.