For the second year in a row, Botswana Guardian emerged the biggest winner when it took the top prize at the coveted Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) awards ceremony held last week in Gaborone.
The newspaper scooped three prestigious awards. Botswana Guardian News Editor, Dikarabo Ramadubu led the pack with two awards – one for Best Sports Reporter of the Year and the other, Best Reporter on Education issues for Botswana Guardian sister publication, The Midweek Sun. MISA recognises the highest standard of journalistic experience, flair and wit in story writing. Ntibinyane Ntibinyane’s investigative prowess earned him the much coveted Investigative Journalist of the Year award with his story on Bakgatla Kgosikgolo, Kgafela II corrupt practices – ‘How Kgafela “ate” madi a morafhe.”
Botswana Guardian is no stranger to scooping sport and Investigative journalist awards. The newspaper emerged victorious in many categories in 2012.Itumeleng Mfila’s nerve wrecking expose of sexual violence on young people won her Best Reporter on Sexual Reproductive Health. Writing for Botswana Guardian sister publication, The Midweek Sun, Yvonne Ditlhase's story on child discipline: ‘Love them without yelling at them,’ scooped the Best reporter on Children Issues. Commenting on the awards, Botswana Guardian editor, Joel Konopo said MISA acknowledges the bravery and unrelenting perseverance of journalists operating in circumstances that are particularly challenging at times with little resources.
Botswana Press Agency (BOPA) Chief Bureau, Rebaone Tswiio scored a hat-trick, winning three prestigious awards: Overall reporter of the Year, Best feature Writer and Print Journalist of the Year. Officiating at the event, retired diplomat, Joseph Legwaila encouraged journalists to speak the truth to power without fear or favour, but implored journalists to be more responsible in reporting.
“Such may not please the ears of the powers that be which is inevitable and normal in vibrant democracies. The paramount role of a free press in a democracy is not only to form and express opinions but also to have an unrestricted latitude to propagate those opinions to the wider public,” Legwila said.