Media awards judging criteria and jury members

Media awards judging criteria and jury members

Judging criteria

  • Originality. Does it rephrase, regurgitate, recycle or reuse material or information from an article published by someone else?
  • Impact. Has it attracted attention and reactions – either positive or negative – from the general public, as well as authorities or responsible figures?
  • Consistency. Does it cover an issue throughout its lifespan and present its ideas and information in a logical flow?
  • Courage. Did the author show initiative and persistence in uncovering facts and sources?
    Investigation and analysis. Is it do deeper analysis beyond the surface or rather parrot what what a source says?
  • Gender. Does it use gender-sensitive language, balance male and female voices and highlight how the issues affects both sexes?

Meet the 2019 jury

Jacob Jimu is a journalist and media trainer with 14 years of media industry experience. He currently lectures at the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at The Polytechnic, University of Malawi, where he teaches specialised writing, research methods and media and society. He previously eight years at Nation Publications Limited where he held various positions such as news analyst and section head for Weekend Nation, the Current Affairs Desk and Nation on Sunday. Jacob holds a Bachelor of Journalism from The Polytechnic, University of Malawi, and a Masters in Political Science from Chancellor College. He has been involved in media and policy consultancies in a wide range of areas such as communication strategy design, political reporting, science communication and multimedia production. His areas of interest are political communication, political participation, science communication and political finance.


Photo of Sydney Friendly KankuziDr. Sydney Friendly Kankuzi is a media and communication trainer and researcher specialising in the sociology of mass communication and academic literacy. He is currently a lecturer and researcher in the Communication and Cultural Studies program at Chancellor College, University of Malawi. As well as this, Sydney is a reviewer of media and communication studies programs at the National Council for Higher Education. On the international scene, some of his research has been published in Senegal, South Africa and in the West. Sydney also sits on the Editorial Advisory Board for the journalism and mass communication studies section at Cambridge Scholars Publishing, a UK-based publisher. Sydney holds a PhD in Journalism from Ulster University (UK), an MA in Cultural and Media Studies from the University of KwaZulu Natal (South Africa), a BA (Honours) in Cultural and Media Studies from University of Natal and a B. Ed Humanities, with a major in English Language Teaching, from the University of Malawi.


Cliff Kawanga is a media and development specialist and holds a Master of Arts Degree (Media and Development) from the University of Westminster, United Kingdon. Cliff has worked in the media in Malawi and the UK for 13 years. Between 2005 and 2017, he held various positions at Times Group which include Features Editor, Deputy Editor and Editor. Cliff is a fellow of the National Press Foundation (Washington, USA), Chevening Scholarship recipient, Chairperson of Malawi Editors Forum and member of The African Editors Forum.


Zilani Khonje is a communications specialist experienced in Communication for Development and Knowledge Management and is currently working as a Knowledge Management Consultant. She recently completed her five-year service as the Communications and Outreach Director for the Millennium Challenge Account – Malawi from 2013-2019. Prior to joining MCA-Malawi, Zilani worked for Oxfam in Malawi as the Media and Communications Coordinator and as the Public Relations Coordinator for ActionAid from 2008 – 2010. She also has 11 years’ experience in print and electronic media having worked for MBC TV and Star Newspaper. Zilani received her MA in Media and International Development from University of East Anglia and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the Polytechnic at the University of Malawi. Apart from English, Zilani speaks Swahili, Chewa, Tumbuka and Tonga.


Isaac Masingati is a communications specialist currently working for the USAID-Feed the Future Malawi Agriculture Diversification Activity. A journalism graduate from the University of Malawi (Polytechnic), Masingati has over 15 years of journalism experience. From the Democrat where he started as an intern, Masingati went on to work for The Nation as business and features writer; the Daily Times as Business and Supplements editor and the Lagos-based Emmanuel TV as editor. Masingati is no stranger to media awards, winning the prestigious CNN African Business Journalist of the Year Award in 2002 and again in 2006 as well as the Population Institute’s Global Media Award in 2013. He is also a two-time finalist of the Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards. Back home, Masingati is a proud winner of two MISA Malawi awards. Masingati now combines work with school at the Polytechnic where he is studying for a MA in Health and Behaviour Change Communication.


Portrait photo of Upile MuhariwaUpile Faith Muhariwa is a development communication expert with over ten years of experience. Currently she is a Knowledge Management and Communication Specialist for the Sustainable Agriculture Production Programme in the Ministry of Agriculture. Previously, she worked for eight years as an Agriculture Communications Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture and also taught English at the Polytechnic’s Continuing Education Centre in Lilongwe for five years. Upile holds a bachelor’s degree in Media for Development from the University of Malawi, Chancellor College, and a Masters in Media Studies from the University of Oslo, Norway.


Photo of Rebecca PhwitkoRebecca Phwitiko has 11 years’ experience in the communications field. She currently works as Communications Officer for UNICEF, where she produces content and materials for advocacy and donor engagement. A former reporter, news producer and editor for the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, Rebecca has also worked as Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. At the ministry, she performed all communications-related tasks, including event management, drafting materials such as ministerial statements, speeches and reports, providing media updates on ministry’s programmes and responding to media queries. As a volunteer at the YWCA of Malawi, Rebecca has worked on advocacy campaigns around education, sexual and reproductive health and rights, violence against women and political participation. She believes all of these topics are key social and economic issues in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. Through these various roles, Rebecca has witnessed first-hand the power of the media in setting (and shifting) the agenda and advancing development causes.