By Samuel Kalimira:
Times Television, a subsidiary of Times Group, retained the best Electronic Media house-of-the-year (television) award during this year’s Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa)-Malawi gala held in Mzuzu on Saturday.
Times Group’s 11 journalists also won individual awards in different categories.
There were celebrations at Mzuzu Hotel when one of the judges, Upile Muhariwa, announced that Times Television had won the award because of its top programming, rich news content and innovations.
“The station has consistently continued to innovate and differentiate itself by using its feedback systems to develop news programmes that respond to the needs of diversity of its audiences. It has put in place systems and standards to entrench a culture of excellence in areas such as accuracy, ethical and legal compliance, originality, independence and continued development of staff,” Muhariwa said.
Times Group Editor-In-Chief, George Kasakula, attributed the award to teamwork, but said its management would sit down and work on how to improve Times Radio and the media empire’s newspapers.
“There is competition out there, and these awards will help us to see where we have not done well and need to improve,” Kasakula said.
In individual awards, Times Group Lilongwe Bureau Chief, Macdonald Thom, won Human Rights Journalist of the Year (print) and Sustainable Development Goals (print) awards.
Rebecca Chimjeka and Josephine Chinele won Democracy and Good Governance awards, Richard Chirombo (best Chichewa reporter), Emmanuel Simpokolwe (best photojournalist) and Wanangwa Chafulumira bagged awards for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (electronic), Tourism Journalist (electronic) and Sustainable Development Goals categories (electronic).
Alick Ponje won Tourism category for print while William Kumwembe and Peter Kanjere shared ICT category (print) and Jameson Chauluka claimed Red Ribbon Journalist (print).
Madalitso Musa reclaimed Columnist of-the-Year accolade.
Albert Sharra emerged the overall winner whereas National Publication Limited won print and online media house of the year awards.
Zodiak Broadcasting Station bagged the award for best media house (radio) whereas the Lifetime Achiever went to Levi Zeleza Manda.
Speaking at the event, Misa- Malawi Chairperson, Teresa Ndanga, asked institutions such as Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi and mobile network companies to ensure that their services are not compromised during and after the May 21 Tripartite Elections.
She said journalists would struggle to work if such institutions experience problems on the day of voting.
Director of Information in the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, Gideon Munthali represented the government at the gala which also attracted human rights activists.