INMA Elevate Scholar: Winston Nelson Mwale of AfricaBrief

By Paula Felps


Nashville, Tennessee, United States


In December 2022, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded their third annual Elevate Scholarship to 50 news media professionals from 31 countries. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.

Veteran journalist Winston Mwale brings great depth and experience to his role as editor-in-chief of AfricaBrief, a news outlet specialising in stories about Africa.

As online editor for Malawian-based Zodiak Broadcasting Station from 2009 to 2019, his work has taken him across eastern and southern Africa — and beyond. Trained in human rights reporting by the Canada-based Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) and in investigative journalism by Reuters Thomson Foundation’s Wealth of Nations Programme, Mwale now specialises in investigative solution journalism and teaches intermediate journalism and writing.

Winston Nelson Mwale is growing AfricaBrief into a trusted media outlet that focuses on solutions journalism.
Winston Nelson Mwale is growing AfricaBrief into a trusted media outlet that focuses on solutions journalism.

“I have worked as a regional correspondent in Africa for Global South Development Magazine, as well as the Centre for Collaborative Investigative Journalism, where I present their podcasts, Transparency Talks, and Waterless,” Mwale said. He has also worked as a freelance fact-checker for Africa Check, a non-profit fact-checking organisation created in 2012 to promote accuracy in public debate and the African media.

Mwale is also a member of a core team of investigative journalists that has been working with Action Aid Malawi in its nationwide Social Accountability Project. Over the years, he has racked up cross-continental bylines and regional awards, and various regional bodies across the continent have recognised Mwale’s work as a journalist.

As a result, he now holds six National Media Institute for Southern Africa-Malawi Chapter media awards, including the 2015 SADC Radio Journalist of the Year Award, and the 2018 and 2021 Southern African Media Awards in Social Accountability Reporting.

As a participant in the Elevate Scholarship programme, Mwale said he is primarily interested in product development, growth, and management, particularly in learning skills that will help his company’s newsletter grow.

“After leaving probably Malawi’s largest private media company in 2019, I co-founded AfricaBrief, and it is my ambition to see it grow into a trusted media outlet that focuses on solutions journalism, exposing Malawi’s untold stories,” Mwale said.

“I am a firm believer in working with journalists from diverse backgrounds, so I believe that establishing media projects that engage with all types of journalists, whether they are new to the profession or established, will be an excellent way to ensure the news media industry’s inclusiveness.”

To accomplish this goal, Mwale collaborates with a group of freelance journalists, mostly from Malawi. “So far, we’ve received story grants as well as media awards from both Malawi and abroad,” he said. And he is excited to see what happens next.

About Paula Felps

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