BNL champions rights media at MISA awards
Blantyre Newspapers Limited (BNL) was rewarded for excellence in rights media at this year’s National Media Institute of Southern Africa (Namisa) Malawi awards gala, which marked the climax of the annual World Press Freedom Day celebrations.
The event was held on Saturday, May 5 in Lilongwe and attended by former Vice President Justin Malewezi who made a key note address, Minister of Information Moses Kunkuyu, diplomats and other distinguished guests from several sectors.
BNL was awarded 14 of the 18 awards for print media on offer including Media House of the Year, and BNL reporters and columnists claimed 15 out of 36 individual awards categories, many of which highlighted human rights and governance reporting.
Deputy chief reporter Theresa Chapulapula was named Namisa Journalist of The Year for her investigative coverage of the Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) scam in which high profile government and former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials bought houses at prices below their market values.
Other individual awards went to chief reporter Charles Mpaka for best human rights journalist; Wezzie Nkhoma-Somba for best maternal health journalist; Isaac Masingati for best child rights journalist; Mpaka and Masingati for human resource for health journalist; The Daily Times correspondent Tiwonge Ng’ona for best women empowerment journalist; and Gabriel Kamlomo for best global partnership for development journalist, among others.
BNL Times Chief Editor Brian Ligomeka attributed the company’s success to team work and innovation.
“Our success depends on our dedication, team work and commitment to innovation. At BNL Times even journalists with few years of experience pull surprises and win awards. We will continue grooming new media gems while retaining our talented and multi-award winning journalistic gurus and columnists,” he said.
At the Times Group celebration that followed on Friday, May 11, Managing Director Leonnard Chikadya said he was excited with the media house’s success, describing BNL as a “vibrant institution that is continuously changing.”
Chikadya told the gathering that while the past year was filled with pressures to compromise, “the beauty of this profession is that you swore allegiance to say the truth” and that BNL Times has “raised the bar and next year we need to go beyond.”