Local sports journalists from various print and electronic media houses say that the adjudication process for Botswana National Sports Council awards is flawed and needs to be reviewed.
Speaking at a workshop organised by BNSC in conjunction with MISA at Maharaja Conference Centre to discuss the adjudication process used to select winners for the annual BNSC awards, journalists said a lot should be done for awards to be fair and transparent.
Duma fm’s Chillyboy Rakgare raised concerns about the credibility of adjudicators and their knowledge of different sporting codes. The general feeling among the reporters was that adjudicators should have relative sports administration experience in order to make informed decisions when selecting an eventual winner.
But one of the adjudicators, Nonofo Mankhi, a lecturer at the University of Botswana, believes such a background does not have a bearing on the ability of the judges to make accurate judgements.
“Judging the quality of a reporters work does not necessarily require one to have a sporting background,” Mankhi argued.
Thabo Osekeng of Yarona fm wanted to know if during adjudication, the judges consider how much value the work of a journalist adds to sport, to which Mankhi responded “those are the kind of aspects we consider when judging the overall impression of a reporter’s work.”
E-Botswana’s Ontlametse Sugar pleaded with the Sports Council to consider separating the award for electronic media into television and radio instead of combining the two arguing that while they use the same medium they cannot be judged in the same category.
Godfrey Mpuse of Bopa stressed the need for the adjudicators to ‘move with the times’ and use the latest technology when adjudicating on photographic material to be able to tell whether or not a picture has been tempered with.
Generally the attendants were happy that they were given insights into the adjudication process saying that, in the past, they were in the dark about how it works and who the adjudicators are.
On the other hand, BNSC’s technical manager for sports development, Bobby Gaseitsewe, thanked the reporters for being a part of development of sports in the country. He pointed out that the feedback BNSC gets from reporters helps them implement the necessary changes.
MISA chairman, Modise Maphanyane, explained the adjudication criteria of the awards. A rubric was given to each participant elements of which were discussed with the attendants. Some of the adjudicators were present at the workshop as well to share insights on their past experiences with adjudicating the entrants’ work.