Home 9 MISA Malawi media awards 9 Media house of the year award: Regulations

Media house of the year award: Regulations

1. Introduction

MISA Malawi’s Media House of The Year Award has over the years gained credibility and status as one of the major journalistic awards of the year and the only national award given to media houses for overall extraordinary performance.

The Award recognises the outstanding work of a media house and it is sponsored by MISA Malawi or any organisation interested in promoting professionalism and excellence in the media industry.

The Award embraces ideals of democratic citizenship, rigorous professional practice, honesty, accuracy, independence, public accountability and initiative as well as artistry, clarity of style and high quality of presentation.

MISA Malawi’s Media House of The Year is divided into two main categories: namely Print and Electronic.

The Electronic Category is further sub-divided into the following sub-divisions: Electronic Radio, Electronic Television and Electronic Online.

The following rules and regulations GOVERN the award:

2. Competition rules

  1. The Competition is open to MISA Malawi paid up print and electronic media organisations legally registered and operating in Malawi.
  2. Entry into the competition entails submitting written nominations whose guidelines are given.
  3. Written nominations can be done by media houses themselves justifying why they deserve the award, or by media organisations/bodies, non-media institutions and individuals except those ruled out in Regulation Number 4.
  4. Members of MISA Malawi Awards Committee, Competition judges, MISA Malawi National Governing Council (NGC) members and Secretariat Staff are not eligible to make nominations.
  5. Nominations must contain achievements and highlights of the nominated media house attained during the period of twelve months before the date of submission.
  6. Where a media house has nominated itself and other stakeholders have also nominated it, the judges will use the information from the self-nomination document; however, the media house will get a maximum 5 marks bonus for being nominated by others.
  7. Where the media house has been nominated by others, the judges will choose the nomination document which in their opinion is the best and the media house will get a maximum 5 marks bonus for being nominated by more than one institution or individual.
  8. Nomination documents should among others include 750-1000 words essays, with the following sub-topics which should answer the following:

2.1 Accuracy

  • What mechanisms does nominated media house have in place to ensure accuracy and fairness?
  • How do nominated media house acknowledge errors?
  • How does the nominated media house balance the right to privacy and the right to know?
  • What are the nominated media house policies and how are they articulated to staff?
  • How has the nominated media house maximized audience/readership engagement?

2.2 Originality, courage, independence

  • How does the nominated media house foster creativity and risk-taking?
  • How has the nominated media house shown courage and independence in the past year?
  • Does the nominated media house regularly commit extra resources over a long period of time to the pursuit of a story? Give examples of such stories
  • Did the nominated media house break away from the pack to explore important territory that others had missed, perhaps using non-traditional methods? Cite examples

2.3 Diversity

  • What special effort has the nominated media house made to ensure that a diversity of voices, faces and ideas in its coverage accurately reflect Malawian life? Cite examples of programmes, features or supplements to support your argument.

2.4 Professional development or opportunities

  • What special measures has the nominated media house taken to make its newsroom a challenging, exciting and rewarding place for journalists in order to inspire excellence in journalism? Cite three examples.

2.5 Gender

  • What are some of the measures put in place to ensure equal opportunities for men and women?
  • Does the nominated media house have gender sensitive policies? If yes, submit a copy of the policy to support your assertion.
  • Has the nominated media house mainstreamed gender in institutional policies and practices?

2.6 Innovations

  • What are some of the latest innovations the nominated media house has made in the last twelve months? Cite three examples of such innovations and their noticeable impact.

The conclusion should summarise the compelling reasons why the nominated media house deserves the award.

For online sites, a self-nomination should include copies of registration certificates for the media house from the Registrar Generals Office as proof of legal existence in the country.

3. Judging procedure

  • In selecting media house of the year, each judge will have a score sheet and the nominated media house with the top average mark will be declared winner.
  • Nominations should be made in accordance with these rules and regulations; and should be received between April 15 and 30 every year.
  • No extensions will be made after the closing date.
  • Late or lost entries, illegible or fraudulent entries or acts or any other entries or acts which bring or would be likely to bring the reputation of MISA Malawi into disrepute shall be disqualified.
  • The competition will be judged by a panel of distinguished, independent judges with appropriate knowledge and experience of journalistic practices in Malawi.
  • The judging panel will each year have at least three members and a maximum of five members.
  • Members of the panel of judges must not come from media houses that enter the competition or are eligible to enter the competition.
  • Should the quality of nominations fall below the standards required, the judges reserve the right not to select a winner.
  • Should a situation arise where no single written nomination has been received, no media house will be declared winner.
  • In the event of a tie, the number of winners from each of the participating media houses will be taken into consideration
  • The judges uphold the integrity and reputation of MISA Malawi awards and, as such, reserve the right to disqualify any media house if, in the judges’ opinion, there exists reasonable doubt about the authenticity and/or accuracy of the submitted information.
  • The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • MISA Malawi NGC Members and Secretariat employees have no mandate to review or reverse the judges’ decision.
  • Sponsors of the award may be subject to change. However there is absolutely no connection between any sponsor and the judging process. The winners remain confidential from everyone, including sponsors, until the Gala Awards ceremony.
  • MISA Malawi and all sponsors of the competition have the right to use names of nominated media house and information submitted, without compensation, in any media for the purposes of promotions, advertising, public relations, media training in journalism workshops and publicising all matters related to the competition.
  • MISA Malawi and all sponsors of the competition disclaim any liability for loss to any institution/person or property relating to the delivery and/or subsequent use of, or participation in, any of the prizes awarded.

Written nominations should be couriered or hand-delivered to Secretary for the Awards Committee before the closing date.

MISA Malawi Secretariat
Mtolankhani House,
Acacia, Lilaga Community
Off Lilongwe-Kasiya Road
P.O. Box 30463
Lilongwe 3

4. Judges’ score sheet

Each entry receives a score out of a hundred maximum points. This made up of the following score for each category:

  • Introduction (5)
  • Accuracy (15)
  • Originality, Courage, Independence (10)
  • Diversity (10)
  • Professional Development (15)
  • Gender (15)
  • Innovations (10)
  • Media Bodies observations – Complaints, Retractions, Lawsuits (Media Council,
  • MISA Malawi, JUMA) (10)
  • Multiple Nominations (5)
  • Conclusion (5)

This page was last updated on 06 March 2020.