SADC’s top jour­nal­ists

Vuk'uzenzele - - General - Su­laiman Philip

Two souTh aFriCaN jour­nal­ists were hon­oured at the SADC Me­dia Awards which not only pro­mote ex­cel­lence in jour­nal­ism but un­der­pin the im­por­tant role the me­dia can play in re­gional in­te­gra­tion.

our­nal­ists are uniquely placed to help em­power the peo­ple of the re­gion, says Min­is­ter of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Ayanda Dlodlo.

Jour­nal­ists, she went on to say, can help build a com­mon, grow­ing and in­te­grated fu­ture for the re­gion.

The min­is­ter was speak­ing at the South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) Me­dia Awards din­ner held in Tsh­wane re­cently.

“What bet­ter way for re­gional in­te­gra­tion than the shar­ing of our own good sto­ries that con­trib­ute to­wards re­gional in­te­gra­tion – com­mu­ni­cated in the lan­guages that our peo­ple speak and in a man­ner they un­der­stand.”

The win­ners of this year’s SADC Me­dia Awards were an­nounced at a din­ner held on the side­lines of the 37th SADC Sum­mit. The awards cel­e­brate the ex­em­plary work of African jour­nal­ists telling African sto­ries in print and on ra­dio and TV.

South African tele­vi­sion jour­nal­ists Msibi Nkosini Sa­muel and Den­nis Tshetl­hane shared the US$2 000 first prize in the TV cat­e­gory for their story on the il­licit trade in min­er­als and the grow­ing prob­lem of il­le­gal min­ing in South Africa.

Tshetl­hane said jour­nal­ists need to con­cen­trate on the qual­ity of the work they pro­duce. Draw­ing on his two decades as an in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist, he re­minded fel­low mem­bers of the me­dia: “Al­ways fo­cus on ex­cel­lence. Check your facts and get your story right.”

Zam­bian jour­nal­ist Pat­son Phiri was awarded the top prize in the print cat­e­gory for his story on im­prove­ments to en­ergy sup­ply and how this is im­prov­ing the re­gion’s in­dus­trial econ­omy. “It is very im­por­tant that we, as jour­nal­ists of the south­ern African re­gion, tell our own sto­ries. Many times, we are en­gulfed in news pack­aged by for­eign news agencies, and the verge of dis­tor­tion and the ap­petite for dis­tor­tion is quite high. As a re­sult of that, the world is mis­in­formed on what takes place in the re­gion,” said Phiri.

An­golan Aris­tides Kito Afonso Jorge was the win­ner in the ra­dio cat­e­gory for his re­port­ing on the im­por­tance of con­ser­va­tion and the pro­tec­tion of cul­tural her­itage. Pho­tog­ra­pher Ga­seit­siwe Moru­ak­gomo of Botswana took home the pho­tog­ra­phy prize for his se­ries on the ferry trans­port link be­tween Botswana and Zam­bia at Kasane.

Min­is­ter of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Ayanda Dlodlo presents the SADC me­dia awards.

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