It is critical that the media helps citizens take their government accountable, believes the Centre for Investigative Journalism in Malawi (Cijm) and the Journalists Union of Malawi (Juma) as the two media institutions say this is why they have united to support Misa’s Investigative Journalism Award to the tune of K1.2 million.
“Investigative journalism is the future because we need to make our leaders, government, NGOs, etc accountable to the people for their actions or commissions. The age of pack journalism, where we follow events or leaders like a pack of wolves is slowly dying.
“We need to do journalism that can be a reference point even in court cases or any other forum – as journalism that made a change,” says Collins Mtika, Cijm’s executive director
Juma president M’theto Lungu added: “Where journalists are empowered by both their employee and supported by the community within where they serve, they can ably contribute to the socio-economic development of this country.
“The award seeks to encourage courageous and professional call to duty in journalists, so that they may bring out issues of importance without fear or favour. Without prejudice or hindrance
Where khaki envelopes will not impede into their output. This award will go to those journalists that truly fits the bill, those that help bring fact and truth to the fore and help the justice system do their job without much excuses.”
Mzuzu based Cijm offers training in this investigative journalists, offers small grants to journalists to pursue hard hitting issues, offers internships both locally and in the Sadc region, and connects journalists to media houses of investigative repute.
Lilongwe based Juma works to promote journalists welfare by engaging employers and authorities in lobbying for better working conditions, better perks, and employee – employer harmony.
Cijm and Juma, who signed a working partnership last year 2015, will officially present the award at the Misa Gala during World Press Freedom Day celebrated on 3rd May each year.