Eight journalists, Lade Bonuola, founding mesmber and pioneer Associate Editor of The Guardian newspaper, and Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, will be honoured at the award presentation event of the 15th Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting holding, on Wednesday, 9 December 2020, at NECA House, Lagos, from 4pm to 6pm.
Abigail Ndisika-Ogwezzy, chairperson of the 2020 judges’ committee 2020, presented the shortlist of journalists after the score’s collation meeting on Tuesday 24th November. The finalists include Habib Oladapo of Sahara Reporters, Ibrahim Adeyemi of BusinessDay, ‘Bukola Samuel-Wemimo of TVC News, Samson Folarin of Punch, Taiwo Hassan Adebayo of Premium Times, Ikechukwu Ibe of Daily Trust, Damilola Banjo of Sahara Reporters and Victor Asowata of The Punch. Their stories were painstakingly selected from one hundred and eighty-eight entries received by a seven-person judges board.
Lade Bonuola will be presented the lifetime award for journalistic excellence for his contribution to independent journalism in Nigeria through his years of service at the Guardian newspaper, in the publication’s hayday and his commitment to promoting positive values that link media reporting to good governance and social justice. On his part, Femi Falana, was chosen for the human rights defender award for his consistent defence for the freedom of people who become targets because they voiced their opinion and those oppressed because they are not able to speak for themselves.
The award presentation event will conclude the three-day In-depth Media Conference and Awards programme that the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) announced earlier to mark its 15th anniversary themed – Masked not silenced. The line-up of activities will commence with an online conference on Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 December from 1 pm to 2:30 pm daily. The conference provides a platform for media professionals and other stakeholders to reflect on the state of the media profession. Interested participants may register to attend the conference through https://bit.ly/IndepthMediaConference.
The Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting was launched in October 2005 as WSCIJ’s flagship programme. The award presentation event, which is free to attend, is held annually on December 9, the International Anticorruption Day and eve of the Human Rights Day, to acknowledge best practices in investigative journalism and call attention to its significance for attaining good governance, accountability, and social justice. It has produced 98 finalists, 9 investigative journalists of the year and 22 honorary awards recipients so far.