Nation Publications Limited (NPL) once again upheld its authority in the media industry after scooping 14 out of the 21 individual annual awards before retaining the Best Print Media House of the Year 2021for the fourth successive year.
Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi Chapter presented the awards on Monday night at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre as part of the World Press Freedom Day celebrations held globally on May 3.
Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) scooped the Best Electronic Media House for Radio as well as Online while Times Group got the Best Electronic Media House Television accolade.
NPL investigative journalist Bobby Kabango was crowned the best investigative journalist and also won the best Green Journalist of the Year Award while Suzgo Chitete, Mercy Malikwa and Ntchindi Meki were decorated with two awards each.
Golden Matonga, Garry Chirwa, Dumbani Mzale, Joseph Mwale and Clement Chinoko got an award each, while Matonga and Chitete won a joint award in the Health Governance category.
Times Group’s Sam Kalimira capped it all as 2021 overall winner and investigative journalist of the year (electronic). He also bagged two other awards as did Taonga Sabola while Stephen Dakalira was named the best columnist.
In total, Times Group grabbed 15 awards in three different categories of television, radio and print while ZBS had six followed by Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) radio which went away with four indiidual awards.
Malawi Broadcasting Corporation got two while Capital Radio, Maziko Radio and The Africa Brief scooped one award each.
Speaking during the award presentation, Misa Malawi chairperson Tereza Ndanga lamented that the past seven months were difficult for the media fraternity in the country after losing 11 colleagues since the last event in October 2020, some to Covid-19.
She also thanked the Tonse Alliance administration for the strides made in the operationalisation of the Access to Information (ATI) Act to ensure a transparent and accountable government.
However, Ndanga said there were challenges the media continues to face, citing attacks on 20 journalists between January 2020 and May 2021 in 13 different incidents.
On his part, guest speaker Levi Zeleza Manda applauded Misa Malawi for being in the forefront fighting for freedom of expression and independent journalism in the country as well as fighting for almost 20 years for the enactment of the ATI Act which was operationalised last year.