NPL tops Green Media Awards

4 journalists scoop individual awards

The Association of Environmental Journalists in Malawi (AEJM) has named Nation Publications Limited (NPL) the greenest print media house in the country.

During the environmental awards held at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe on Saturday night, four NPL journalists scooped individual awards for outstanding coverage of wildlife protection, fisheries, mining and disaster preparedness.

According to AEJM secretary general Charles Mkoka, the association conferred the publishers of The Nation, Weekend Nation, Nation on Sunday, Fuko and Nation Online the Green Print House Award in honour of its in-depth and coordinated coverage of environmental issues.

“During the Green Awards, Nation was considered the best print house because it has a special page for environmental news, a special projects desk with an eye on environmental issues and it has been following environment-related events, such as climate change, water, sanitation and world observances with special supplements,” he said.

In the individual categories, our Features Editor James Chavula won the Green Award in the Fisheries Category for his Exclusive Enquiry, Water Wars of Lake Chiuta, in which he exposes violent scrambles for waters and dwindling fish population of Lake Chiuta which keeps disrupting the families, peace and livelihoods in villages along the water body on the border between Malawi and Mozambique.

Lilongwe Bureau Chief Samuel Chunga scooped the Best Wildlife Reporter Award. The winning article highlights how some legislators’ visit to Liwonde National Park moved them to pass the amended National Parks and Wildlife Act which prescribes straight custodial sentences of up to 30 years for wildlife criminals.

Mzuzu-based reporter John Chirwa received the Best Disaster Preparedness Journalist Award having told the story of Mzuzu’s “forgotten disaster” through the eyes of a devastated victim to underline the need for early warning systems in disaster preparedness to minimise unnecessary loss of lives among loved ones.

This is the story of last year’s disaster in which Ethel Khosa lost two daughters and collapsed in the middle of the night. The woman fainted during the torrents and was admitted to Mzuzu Central Hospital. Upon being discharged, she travelled to Chikangawa to bury her daughter.

“I was devastated” she told the reporter.

Alick Ponje emerged the Best Journalist (Mining) for his article, published before he joined NPL.

He reveals how uncertainties over the opening of Kanyika niobium mine have left people of the mineral-rich setting impoverished, food insecure and frustrated with environmental degradation.

Chanco Radio emerged the best radio station for its unremitting coverage of environmental affairs, with its reporter Sekina Majawa winning two individual accolades in the Sustainable Mining and Climate Change categories.

Other winners include MIJ FM’s Tamanda Matebule (Social Accountability and Agriculture), Joy’s Enock Balakasi (Green Documentary), Timveni Radio’s Nancy Malata (Waste Management), Zodiak Broadcasting Station’s Hudson Bisani (Green Photojournalism) and Grace Khombe (Agriculture) as well as MBC’s McDonald Chiwayula (Energy Journalism) and Eunice Ndlovu (Water and Sanitation).

The Green Awards were graced by Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Masi who underscored the importance of the media in rallying Malawians to take part in protecting the environment as effects of climate change worsen.

 

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