The annual Misa awards, held at the Hilton Hotel last Thursday left a sour taste in the mouths of many, despite a few improvements in the awards.
Reporter and photographer Dirk Heinrich of German newspaper, Allgemeine Zeitung, who was nominated in almost all categories, walked away with the Journalist of the Year 2011award, plus five other awards.
Most Media houses are mulling pulling out of the awards in future.
AZ, due to the small number of German population in Namibia, is arguably one of the least read publications in the country, despite its huge readership among the German speaking populacy.
For V-Metro, how could a reporter from one of the least read publications in the country win such an award ahead of reporters from other newspapers with the most print run in the country?
The answer is simple; either all the seven judges were German and failed to read the rest of the English newspapers or none of the English reporters entered the competition.
When V-Metro contacted the director Marbeline Mwashekele, she responded, “Dirk Heinrich won a number of awards. Winning in the Misa Namibia media awards is not and has never been based on the size of a particular media house, how many readers/viewers/ listeners it has, or the attention it gets from the public. Dirk Heinrich is an established and accomplished veteran journalist, who had the audacity to make time to find his best pieces for 2010, and entered in ten of the sixteen categories, then won in three of them, including becoming journalist of the year 2011. So it is ridiculous for anyone who wants to ridicule a media house simply because of its readership. As per the judging criteria stories are judged not based on number of copies read, but the quality of the writing of the person who entered. It’s like saying you can’t find a winner in the smallest group of people, simply because they are the smallest group of people. Quality of entries supersedes the number of entries. Dirk Heinrich entered in many categories, to enhance his chances of winning, and it worked! Thus, Misa Namibia encourages all journalists, to pull up their socks and fairly compete for recognition should they deem themselves worthy.”
You heard it, the one eyed man among all of us is, Dirk, according to Marble.
The judges for the awards were not so German speaking though. Perhaps only one is good in German. Bertha Amakali, Unomengi Kauapirura, Mathew Gowaseb, Frauke Roschlau, Michaela Jaeger, Linette Smith, Susan Alexander were the judges and they just convinced us that they are very good in German.
By way, The Namibian’s Denver Kisting’s story on ‘Metcalfe Attorneys gets their butt kicked over advert’, was in the Gender Category.
But it’s not Denver’s fault, the judges understand German more.