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ICIR reporter wins DAME’s investigative reporter of the year
YEKEEN Akinwale, an investigative reporter with The International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), has been announced winner of the Best Investigative Reporting category at the 27th Diamond Awards for Media Excellence (DAME).
The event was held on Saturday at the Radisson Blue Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
Akinwale’s winning entry was an investigative report that exposed the shabby state of primary health care centers in several South Eastern states despite huge expenditure by the federal government.
Bayo Akinloye, a former reporter with The Punch newspaper who had two entries in the Investigative Reporting category, grabbed first and second runner up places respectively.
The Punch newspaper recorded highest winners as it received top prizes in eight categories, while The Nation Newspaper won two awards, Daily Trust (one), Nigerian Tribune (one) and The Guardian (one).
The Punch was named the Best Designed Newspaper.
The prize for Editorial Cartooning went to Daily Trust’s Mustapha Bulama for his September 2, 2017 entry “Hate Speech” while The Punch’s Saheed Olugbon won the News Photography category with his “Traders at Ojuwoye Market” published on July 3, 2017. The media house also came first in the Agriculture Reporting category with Kunle Falayi’s entry titled “Rice farmers bemoan fate as 38 million hectares of land waste away”.
Samson Folarin of The Punch won the prize in the Lagos Reporting category. His entry, “VIS men accused of burning impounded car in Lagos”, was on the travail of a painter in the hands of officials of the Vehicle Inspection Service and the eventual resolution of the case.
The paper won in the Sports Reporting category with Eric Dumo’s “Gold in the midst of clay: Remarkable stories of female athletes shaming disabilities, published on April 1, 2017.
Eniola Akinkuotu of The Punch won the Child Friendly reporting category. His story, “How stigma, government policies cause 60,000 HIV deaths annually, was published on December 27, 2017.
Tribune clinched the Editorial Writing prize with an entry titled: “Being candid on Buhari’s absence”, published on February 17, 2017. Lekan Sote’s “Towards making Nigeria a nation”, published on June 7, 2017 in The Punch, beat Omotoso’s “Atiku visits Obasanjo” and Oladesu’s “The journey to nationhood” to second and third runner up.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Diamond Publications Limited Mr. Lanre Idowu, described all the nominees as winners. He explained that the objective of the award was to entrench the culture of professionalism in Nigerian journalism.
“In this season of political campaigns, the media needs to be more even-handed in their assessment of political actors and their messages. They need to identify the issues early and seek clear answers from the candidates,” he said.
Idowu urged the media not to “join the purveyors of fake news” and challenged journalists to promote factual unbiased reporting in the build-up to the 2019 polls.