It was all smiles for seven-year-old Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) and 20-year-old Nation Publications Limited (NPL) on Saturday night when they were crowned electronic and print media houses of the year respectively during the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi Chapter Gala Dinner Awards Ceremony.
Both ZBS and NPL received a modern radio each for their newsrooms.
During the ceremony held at Sunbird Capital in Lilongwe, Misa Malawi also presented the Lifetime Achiever Award to Edge Kanyongolo, an associate professor of law and constitutional law expert at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College in Zomba.
“[Kanyongolo] is the person who is always available with information; hence, it is important to recognise his work,” said chief judge Dr. Francis Chikunkhuzeni.
Individual journalists were also awarded in different categories and some went away with multiple awards.
This year, there was a wide variety in terms of media houses that produced winners. For example, Malawi News Agency (Mana) journalist Anastazio Mpumulo scooped two awards in Hunger and Poverty, and Universal Primary Education categories.
Dedza-based ZBS reporter Chikondi Mphande was awarded for her electronic story under Hunger and Poverty category. Other ZBS journalists that smiled were Noel Mkubwi (Universal Primary Education), Winstone Mwale (Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment), Grace Khombe (HIV and Aids), Rodrick Sinoya (Malaria and Tuberculosis, Maternal Mortality), Tiyamike Phiri (Global Partnerships for Development), Tereza Ndanga (Investigative Journalism) and Gloria Masanza (Business and Economic Reporting).
Rabecca Chimjeka and Evelyn Pangani, both from Joy Radio, were awarded for outstanding reporting in Child Mortality and Maternal Health respectively.
NPL journalists Caroline Somanje, Nation on Sunday editor Ephraim Munthali, Bobby Kabango and Watipaso Mzungu got awards in Maternal Mortality, Global Partnership and Development, Chichewa journalist of the year, Human Rights journalist of the year.
Munthali also emerged Print Media Investigative journalist of the year whereas Mercy Simbi was awarded as Talk Show host of the Year.
Gregory Gondwe of Blantyre Newspapers Limited (BNL) became 2013 Blogger of the year while Madalitso Mussa was picked best columnist with his Tales of Time column published on Fridays in The Daily Times.
Other BNL journalists who went back home smiling were Joy Ndovi (Sports journalist of the year), Theresa Chapulapula and Mathews Kasanda (Education journalist of the year) while Jacob Nankhonya emerged overall winner for the photograph he took at New Parliament building in which Parliament security officer beat NPL photojournalist Thoko Chikondi. Chapulapula also got best ICT journalist of the year award.
However, Misa did not announce best corruption writer of the year award as, according to Chikunkhuzeni, the judges are still scrutinising entries.