After being in existence for two years, Sports Writers Association of Malawi (Swam) has decided to introduce awards for outstanding sportsmen in various sporting fields beginning next year.
The decision to introduce the awards was reached during the day-long workshop on football reporting organized by the association for its paid-up members. The workshop took place Friday, November 9, 2012 at Crown Hotel in Lilongwe and about 40 sports journalists from across the country attended.
During a topic titled ‘Challenges of Football Match Reporting in Malawi’, which was presented by seasoned journalist Anord Chachacha Munthali, formerly of Blantyre Newspapers Limited, the sports scribes agreed to introduce sports awards, the away their colleagues in other countries do.
In UK, sports writers choose their best footballers of the year after the end of every soccer season.
The recommendation was reportedly taken on board by the Swam executive led by Nation Publications Limited (NPL) senior sports writer Peter Kanjere.
During the workshop, members bemoaned the growing number of media sports awards, which they felt have reduced Malawi sports journalism into PR reporting.
The members also recommended that professional media bodies be involved in choosing outstanding journalists.
Of late, the standards of sports journalism have drastically gone down with renown sports journalists failing to expose scandals and other malpractices within the sports arena for fear of being blacklisted by administrators involved in determining media awards.
As a result of the many sports awards, there have also been cold wars within newsrooms as journalists fight for supremacy and scramble for coverage of prominent events/news that would lead to them winning sports awards.
The meeting was fully funded by the Super League of Malawi whose president Senior Deputy Commissioner of Police Innocent Bottoman hailed the efforts by Swam in uplifting the standards of sports reporting in Malawi.