Malawian journo working for Prophet TB Joshua scoops global media award

Malawian journalist Isaac Masingati, who works for flamboyant Nigerian pastor Prophet T.B. Joshua, has been named winner of the Best Article Award in the Annual Global Media Award on population, sponsored by US-based Population Institute.

Masingati’s article: Too Many People, Too Few Resources, which appeared in Malawi’s Daily Times – a paper he served as Features and Supplements Editor before he joined T.B. Joshua’s media department in Lagos, has scooped the first position in the Best Article category.

A statement from Population Institute says the winners who include book authors, television series and radio programmes, have been selected for their significant contribution to public discussion and understanding of population and family planning related issues.

“The Population Institute is proud to recognize these individuals and news outlets for their journalistic excellence and valuable insights,” said the statement.

Masingati receiving a Namisa award.

Masingati receiving a Namisa award.

Commenting on Masingati’s work, the statement said: “His article examines how rapid population growth is impacting the provision of essential services in Malawi. The government is worried that population growth will undermine its efforts to provide quality health and education services, accelerate the depletion of forests and natural resources, and degrade the environment. It is hoped that the New National Population Policy will address these challenges by promoting smaller families and increasing access to family planning, but the article questions whether government leaders will make the necessary commitment.”

Masingati, who will receive his award at a reception in Washington DC in January, is no stranger to international awards having won the CNN Africa Business Journalist of the Year Award twice in 2002 while with Nation Publications Limited and in 2006 while stringing for The Sunday Times. He was twice nominated for the Diego Africa Business Journalism Award in 2011.

“I am happy and excited about this award. It means so much to me and talks a lot about the quality of journalism in Malawi and Africa as a whole. I thank my former employers at Blantyre Newspapers Limited for, without their support, this opportunity would probably not be possible,” said Masingati.

Some of the winners in the other categories include Alan Weisman, the author of several books, including the international best-seller The World Without Us. He will receive the Best Book award for his book Countdown: Out Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?

 “Weisman traveled to more than 20 countries to ask what experts agreed were probably the most important questions on Earth and also the hardest: How many humans can the planet hold without capsizing? How robust must the Earth’s ecosystem be to assure our continued existence? And, how might we actually arrive at a stable, optimum population, and design an economy to allow genuine prosperity without endless growth? Weisman explores the burgeoning impact that we are having on planetary resources, but also examines the ancillary benefits that would flow from stabilizing population and reducing our consumption of natural resources,” said the statement.

Another award goes to East Los High, which will be recognized as the Best TV Show for its Earthworms, a highly popular 24-episode made-for-television series that reflects the lives of teenagers growing up in East Los Angeles.

“Louis for over 25 years, and has produced and hosted the weekly environmental radio talk show, “Earthworms,” on FM-88 KDHX for over 20 years. Jean is a consistent, thoughtful and outspoken voice on population growth and its impact on the environment,”

The award for Best Film or Miniseries will go to Blessed Fruit of the Womb, a documentary, which was produced by Wings, a nonprofit organization providing reproductive health services and information to women in Guatemala. It tells the story of two women, Evelyn and Ester who, undeterred by powerful religious organizations, conservative politicians, and a male dominated culture, they travel village-to-village through the Guatemalan countryside in an effort to provide family planning and reproductive health services to Guatemalan women.

Carmen Barroso of International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere and Michael Brune of the Sierra Club, will receive the award for Best Opinion Piece for “Women at the Center of a Sustainable World.”

“Their blog, which was published by the Huffington Post on World Population Day, connects the between women’s health, environmental sustainability, and population growth,” reads the statement signed by Population Institute’s Director of Publicity Policy, Jennie Wetter.

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