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MISA Botswana Recognises Journalists Despite Its Financial Constraints

MPHO MOKWAPE
Award winners: Mmegi stuff holding the Newspaper Design of the Year Award.
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Chairperson Modise Maphanyane says it is time to challenge the relationship MISA Botswana and its stakeholders, which is the media industry for the sustainability the organisation.

Speaking at the organisation’s annual national media awards on Friday, Maphanyane said it has not been easy for the organisation to sustain itself over the years, as it had to compete with other initiatives especially those from government, for a stake from the corporate world.   Maphanyane added that this year’s awards came at a time when the organisation was constrained by financial resources. He said it had not been easy raising funds.

“MISA Botswana relies heavily on international bodies for its survival as it deals with issues that put it, many a times, on an easy path with powers that be and cannot look to government for its sustainability hence the call for the media industry to assist,” he said.

For his part, MISA Botswana Director, Buyani Zongwani, urged new Members of Parliament to rise above party lines and collectively demand that the Freedom of information Bill be presented to Parliament.

He said new members had a mandate to protect public interest, adding that freedom of information was an

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enabler of the fundamental right to freedom of expression enshrined in the constitution of the country.

“The Bill could have been long enacted, but it was rejected by then dominant members of the ruling party on the pretext that exemptions contained on part of the bill were not inclusive enough,” he said.

MISA once again rewarded outstanding journalist in their different field of reporting. The award ceremony that was held under the theme “Freedom of expression and access to information” comprised of four categories including print, broadcast, specialised reporting and media house category.

The ‘Newspaper Design of the Year’ went to Mmegi, under the media house category. Mothusi Seloko of Kutlwano Magazine took the Print Journalist of the Year, while Thato Nthite from Botswana Television won Broadcast Journalist of the year award.  Although this year’s awards failed to produce an, ‘overall journalist’ several journalists including Reginald Richardson of Gabz fm, Thato Nthite of Btv and Dikatso Selemogwe of Guardian newspaper walked away with two awards each.



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