The media had an overriding responsibility to use all its power to influence public thought, President Emeritus Ugo Mifsud Bonnici said, as he urged journalists to draw attention to the importance of Malta’s heritage.

“We still have a long way to go to achieve national awareness of Malta’s cultural assets and the media can work towards ensuring adequate recognition,” he said.

This thought was echoed by Din L-Art Ħelwa vice president Martin Scicluna as he announced the winners of the Built and Natural Heritage Journalism awards yesterday.

In establishing the awards six years ago, Mr Scicluna said DLĦ wanted, most importantly, to encourage the media to publish articles that brought home the message that built and natural heritage were vitally important to the quality of life.

“In Malta’s context, where air pollution, construction, over-development, the depletion of our natural resources and the government’s pledge to achieve environmental sustainability are now at the top of the agenda, the need for professional, full-time journalists to follow this subject is long overdue,” he said.

The winner of the Natural Heritage Journalism is Alan Deidun for his article in The Sunday Circle entitled Far From The Madding Crowd.

The award for Built Heritage Journalism went to Paul Cilia for his article about cultural tourism in L-Anzjani and Leħen is-Sewwa.

The winner for the Built Cultural Heritage Journalism category was Fiona Vella for her article Arti bl-Għadam Uman (Art With Human Bones) in It-Torċa.

The special diploma for broadcasting went to Cynthia Zerafa for her radio broadcast Ħal Saflieni’s Hypogeum.

The adjudicating panel consisted of Simone Mizzi, Malcolm Naudi and Anthony Manduca.

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