Open letter to the local awards organisers

Mpumalanga is abuzz with excellence awards honouring locals. However, the criteria used is not clear-cut and it is mysterious how the organisers’ final decisions are made.

For instance, radio presenters are not merely journalists, yet you find them winning media awards – it is very questionable, to say the least. Actually, they should add a radio presenters category. Journalists in radio should have a separate category, and there should also be one for print journalists.

Another question to be asked: do the entrants submit samples of their work and which entries are elegible for entry? Do the nominees get selected by the public or a panel of judges? Do the selected finalists really have an impact on society or is it about friends making their friends famous at the expense of other hard-working and deserving individuals?
I would advise the various local event organisers to steer away from the media, as they are entering a territory, the fourth estate, which they do not have a clue about. Rather honour media houses by handing out courtesy awards to the media.
We are always there to offer assistance to those who ask, and our companies do have media excellence awards. Corporate companies like Vodacom host media awards with lucrative cash prizes. In short, leave us to our daily routine of supplying the public with news and enjoy reading and watching and listening to news.

Bongani Hlatshwayo

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