JOURNALISM awards have been created in honour of two distinguished journalists Ibanga Isine and late Nelson Etukudoh.
Isine, a veteran journalist has won many journalism laurels for investigative and impact reporting including the CNN Multichoice African Journalist of the Year Award 2015 and the the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting in 2019.
Etukudoh, now late, was a former editor of the The Nigerian Chronicles, a publication of the Cross River State government.
An award for impact reporting was instituted in honour of Isine while the award for best local newspaper was initiated in honour of late Etukudoh.
The two awards come with prize money of N500,000 each and will commence in 2023 and run for three years.
Some of Isine’ award winning investigations include a report on how bribe-taking Nigerian security officials were contributing to high cost of livestock in Southern Nigeria, how the Kaduna state government was sanctioning killings of Christians in Southern Kaduna and a report on killings by soldiers at a Dangote Cement Company in Benue.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, XL Communications Limited. Utibe Ukim is the sole sponsor of the Isine Impact Award while Ukim, and Moffat Ekoriko, a Nigerian/British journalist and publisher of NewsAfrica and The Moment are co-sponsors of the Nelson Etukudoh Award for Best Local Newspaper.
Ukim announced both awards at a lecture to mark the 2022 press week of the Akwa Ibom State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
At the event, he emphasised the need for journalists from Akwa Ibom to “move from the fringes to the centre court of journalism excellence so they can champion causes” of the state.
He paid tributes to other great journalists from Akwa Ibom including Ray Ekpu, Ekaete Ekpo, Nnamso Umoren, Etim Anim, Effiong Essien, Martins Usenekong, and Brenda Bassey,
Ukim applauded their contributions in the struggle for Nigeria’s independence, the return to civilian rule, creation of Akwa Ibom State and development of journalism in general.
He noted that Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria are facing many economic and social problems which have placed a challenge on journalists to stand up and drive the needed change.