MW Journalists Shine in Regional Media Award

The award recognizes that communication and information flows are necessary factors to strengthening social accountability practice. 

Three Malawian journalists scooped all the three positions for the 2021 Southern Africa Media Award in Social Accountability Reporting during a virtual Highway Africa event held on 22 June, 2021.

The award is usually hosted at the annual Highway Africa conference in partnership with the Partnership for Social Accountability (PSA) alliance. 

The award recognizes that communication and information flows are necessary factors to strengthening social accountability practice. 

The 1st prize of USD 250 went to Josephine Chinele from Africa In Fact publication. 

Through her story, Josephine effectively used data journalism to highlight a surge in teen pregnancies and child marriages during the time schools were closed due to Covid 19 pandemic. 

Using investigative reporting skills, the veteran journalist used data journalism  to amplify different voices on pursuing solutions to the problem.

In 2018, Josephine came second dueing the same awards during an event held at Rhodes University in South Africa.

Josephine's story can be found here:

The 2nd prize of USD 200 went to Winston Mwale from The AfricaBrief publication. 

Winston’s winning story investigates and exposes how mismanagement of maternity wards resources has led to precarious conditions for pregnant women and infants at Mkanda Health Centre, Mchinji. 

Former Zodiak Broadcasting Station Online Editor, Winston also received the first prize of the social accountability award in 2018.

Winston's story can be found here: 

The 3rd prize for USD 100 went to Innocent Kumchedwa from Maziko Radio Station in Malawi a story shedding light on corruption and negligence in the maternity wards and public healthcare system. 

With multiple data sources, Innocent's story highlighted the critical role that journalism can play in promoting social accountability, especially relating to public resources.

Innocent's story can be found here:

This was not all.

The new media start-up, the AfricaBrief, also got the 2021 Southern Africa Media Grant for Social Accountability Reporting.

Winston Mwale's proposed story will investigate how COVID-19 restrictions put in place by the Malawi government to manage the spread of the pandemic have negatively affected people’s decisions on whether to go to health facilities, raising fears of long-term effects on the health of patients' who are not able to access facilities. 

The story, which will use data journalism, will highlight trends regarding visits to health facilities in Malawi during the Covid-19 period.

Mudziwathu Community Radio in Mchinji district, also got the grant.

Andre Rico Harare's proposed story will investigate the impact of drug theft on delivery of health services at Mkanda Health Centre in Mchinji district, Malawi. 

Using data journalism, the story will also focus on statistics related to drug theft and the financial implications for both the centre and the national healthcare system.

The PSA Alliance is a consortium of organisations led by ActionAid International and including the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) of Rhodes University, Eastern and Southern Africa Small-Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) and SAfAIDS, which is implementing the project ‘Strengthening Social Accountability and Oversight in Health and Agriculture in Southern Africa’, with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Through this project, the PSA Alliance works to improve social accountability and gender-responsiveness in public resource management in health and agricultural services across five countries (Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe), contributing to the realisation of SADC commitments on HIV, sexual and reproductive rights (SRHR) and food security in the Southern African region.

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