Nation Publications Limited (NPL) has won 21 wards and retained the coveted Media House of the Year (Print) Award at this year’s Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi annual media awards gala in Lilongwe on Saturday night.
Some of the awards that NPL won include Media House of the Year (Print) and Media House of the Year (Electronic). NPL journalists also walked away with various individual awards, including Investigative Journalist of Year (Print), which was won by Bobby Kabango, who was also awarded the Overall Winner.
Others were James Chavula who won the Green Journalist of Year, Best Red Ribbon and Reporting Supply Chain of Essential Medicines (Print) awards; John Chirwa who won Best Paediatric and HIV Journalist and Adult Literacy awards; Dumbani Mzale scooped the Business and Economic and Best Girl and Women’s Rights Journalist awards; Joy Ndovi won Sports Journalist of the Year Award; Lucky Mkandawire earned the Photojournalist and Health Governance Journalist of the Year awards; Golden Matonga won Water and Sanitation Award; Andrew Mtupanyama won Best ICT Journalist Award; Sam Chunga won the SDGs Journalist Award; and Suzgo Chitete won the Anti-Corruption Journalist;—all in the Print category.
In his keynote address, German Ambassador Jurgen Borsch said the media should be free and independent of commercial and political influence since journalism serves public interest.
He said: “A free and independent media is essential for democracy and development, especially by ensuring that public institutions are accountable and transparent. Social ills such as corruption and abuse of power thrive where the media decides to abandon public interest and serve political and commercial interests.”
On her part, Misa-Malawi chairperson Teresa Ndanga said 2020 has been a difficult year in which journalists proved their mettle by surviving brutality and corruption attempts.
Ndang—who earlier asked the guests to observe a minute’s silence in honour of journalists who died this year, namely Dr Tikhala Chibwana, Martin Mlelemba, Jolly Kalelo, Vynn Phiri, Akwete Sande and Elijah Phimbi—further implored on the Minister of Information, as a journalist himself by profession, to ensure that the government facilitates the growth of the profession.
The function, held under the theme of Journalism Without Fear or Favour, also marked the commemoration of the International Day for Universal Access to Information that falls on September 28.