Journalists to submit entries online as Wole Soyinka Award focuses on SDGs and COVID-19

THE Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) says it will accept all entries for its annual award for investigative reporting online for the first time.

Motunrayo Alaka, Executive Director of WSCIJ said in a statement Friday that the 2020 award will reward works that explore the intersection between Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and COVID-19.

Alaka explained that the choice of focus area for the 15th edition of the award programme was due to the fact that COVID-19 has exacerbated problems of poverty, hunger, education, health, and inequalities between female and male persons among others, that Nigeria faced as the country marked its 60th independence anniversary.

“A pioneer initiative dedicated to promoting investigative journalism, the award, was first held in 2005 to build a culture of investigative reporting for Nigeria’s nascent democracy and honour journalists who expose public or corporate corruption, human rights abuses and regulatory failures,” she said.

For the 15th edition, stories from the print, online, photo, cartoon, television and radio genres of the media, published between  October 4, 2019, and  October 3, 2020, are qualified to apply.

The deadline for submission of entries is Saturday, 24 October 2020 by 4 pm, the statement indicates.

From October 4 when the award call for application opens, all reporters who meet the necessary entry criteria may submit their works on the online portal – www.award.wscij.org, Alaka disclosed.

She added that the WSCIJ has continued to reward journalists who show courage through reports that uphold the responsibility of the media to provoke effective governance and accountable leadership in Nigeria.






     

     

    “The Covid19 pandemic has equally aggravated the challenges the Nigerian media face. The sustainability of newsrooms in Nigeria and the welfare of journalists are threatened. Therefore, investigative reporting along with the freedom of speech and good governance it engenders are endangered too,” she said.

    “More than ever before, it is important to celebrate and encourage reporters who stood their place as frontline workers in this time of crisis.”

    Over the past 15 years, WSCIJ has contributed to building the culture of investigative journalism in the Nigerian media through the award.

    It has held 14 editions and produced 98 finalists, 50 ‘Soyinka Laureates’, and nine investigative journalists of the year. It has also made 22 honorary decorations for Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence and Ani-Corruption Defender Award.

     

     

    Abeeb Alawiye formerly works with The ICIR as a Reporter/Social Media officer. Now work as a Senior Journalist with BBC News Yoruba. You can shoot him an email via [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @habsonfloww

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