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Science Academy honours four journalists
By Abiose Adelaja Adams
The Nigeria Academy of Science on Thursday honoured four science reporters for excellence in reporting the subject in the news media in the year 2014.
Speaking at the 5th edition of the science award ceremony in Lagos, the president of the Academy, Oyewale Tomori, a professor of Virology, said there is a strong need to popularize science reporting.
According to him, reporting politics, business and sports has always taken the lead in news media, thus relegating science, even though science is the bedrock of economy development and advancement.
“Take the ebola outbreak last year for instance. It is all about science and the media contributed largely to curbing its spread especially in Nigeria.”
Notably, three out of the four winners did reports on the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD.
Tomori also noted that if countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea had known earlier that simple infection control, identifying cases and isolating them, non-contact with dead bodies and simple hygiene can prevent ebola, it would not have wreaked so much havoc in those countries.
Commending Nigerian journalists further, he said they significantly contributed to the success, thus every journalist who did reports on ebola is winner, but few had to be recognized.
The award categories are print, online and broadcast. However, priority was given to print and broadcast over online. There was no winner in online category.
Explaining the reason for this; the national secretary of the Academy, Doyin Odubanjo, said, “We felt online journalists also write like print, that is why we categorized them together.”
According to him, there were 24 entries, and also noted that this year’s competition was especially stiff.
The winners was Folasade Adebayo of Punch Newspaper while the runner up to her was Kunle Falayi also of Punch Newspaper. The winner in the broadcast category is Vivienne Irikefe, a correspondent with Television Continental, TVC, while the runner up to her was Jennifer Igwe, of the NTA.
In her acceptance speech, Adebayo said, “I feel validated. This is a dream come true. I want to thank all my colleagues, editor and my family members.”
The runners up went home with a plaque, a tablet, and a cash prize of N50,000 while the winners got a plaque, a tablet and N100,000.