Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Werani Chilenga made the remarks in Blantyre when he presided over the annual Green Media Awards which were recently organised by Association of Environmental Journalists in Malawi-AEJ.
Speaking to the press on the sidelines of this glamorous annual event, the Deputy Minister commended journalists for their passion to write on the environment and urged them to priotize green issues as they touch on our very own survival.
“What I have observed is that journalists have interacted well with parliament and government officials as far as reporting on wildlife and environmental reporting is concerned.
“However, journalists need to treat environmental stories with the same preference to political stories and sports because all these stories inform, educate and entertain. Above all we cannot thrive in a compromised environment so it is quite an important area to focus on,” said Chilenga.
Patricia Sundu (L) receiving an award on behalf of MBC
On her part Gina Althoff, Communications Manager for one of the key sponsors USAID funded Perform Project said with the growing population in the country there’s need to pay close attention to environmental management.
She said, “Going by the recent population census and comparing the same variables ten years ago, it is evident that Malawi’s population is rising as such that brings pressure on environmental resources. It is imperative now that we extend our energies to environmental conservation.”
In his remarks, AEJ’s president, Matthews Malata said the fourth edition of green media awards have clearly demonstrated great talent and passion for environmental reporting.
“Four years down the line we appreciate that there’s great improvement on the quality of environmental stories. It is also worth noting that these stories are finding their way on radio, television, online and print media which is very encouraging. We have noticed some gaps that journalists have to work on. As an association we will continue training them but we also encourage them to be resourceful and learn from other veterans. This calls for self dedication to the environmental bit,” said Malata.
Matthews Malata, president of AEJ
During the green night MBC scooped the best Electronic Green Media House of the year and one of its reporters, Emmanuel Thuwala carted home an award in climate change category.
The awards were being held under the theme ‘Greening the media for a resilient Malawi’.