Nigeria’s leading investigative paper, PREMIUM TIMES, was lavishly celebrated in London on Tuesday night after it was named winner of the Special Category in this year’s One World Media Awards.
At an elaborate event at Kings Place, a premium event centre in central London, PREMIUM TIMES was named winner ahead of two other finalists – Uks, a respected Pakistani radio production platform, and Video Volunteers, a media organization in Indian helping citizens expose underreported stories from remote communities.
Phil Harding, vice chair of the One World Media’s Board of Trustees, who presented the award, praised PREMIUM TIMES for its professionalism and exceptional work.
“This Nigerian investigative newspaper and website has, in the three years of its existence, established a fast-growing reputation for brave and courageous journalism with real impact,” Mr. Harding , a former Director of News and English Networks, BBC World Service, said at the event attended by key figures from the British media industry, education, government and development NGOs.
“With an impressive string of hard-hitting exposes, it has acted as a powerful reminder that, in a modern democracy, the media is crucial in holding those in power to account. PREMIUM TIMES shows that in the face of misrule and suppression, the media can act as a beacon for those who wish to create a better society.”
Myles Wickstead, chair of the One World Media’s Board of Trustees said he was amazed by the quality of journalism PREMIUM TIMES had done within so short a time.
“We are all immensely proud of your work and the professionalism of your team,” Mr. Wickstead, a former British Ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti said. “It takes a lot of courage to do that quality of work and we hope this award will spur you to do more.”
In a speech at the event, PREMIUM TIMES Managing Editor, Musikilu Mojeed, said his paper would continue to crusade on behalf of Nigerians who he said need authentic information to take informed decisions.
The paper, Mr. Mojeed said, would stick to integrity, honest reporting and a commitment to telling the story and providing a voice for civil society and marginalized communities across Nigeria.
He said the award would “definitely enhance Premium Times’ ability to continue its critical mission to serve the Nigerian public and the African, Diasporan and global audience with essential news and information they need to make informed decisions”.
The annual One World Media Awards is one of the foremost media award events in the world, and particularly in the United Kingdom.
It rewards the most outstanding coverage of the developing world and recognises the unique role of journalists and filmmakers in increasing cultural understanding and promoting fairness and justice worldwide.
“From stories highlighting our common humanity to investigations that uncover hidden issues to reports that give a voice to the voiceless, the awards are distinctive in that they recognise and encourage the vital work of journalists in this field,” organizers say of the award.
“The aim is to increase the exposure and scope of international coverage to support inclusive development, good governance and democracy worldwide.”
This year’s edition of the awards received over 300 entries on a diverse range of topics from around the world, organisers say.
At the ceremony, winners were also named in 12 other categories of the awards. The categories are International Journalist of the Year Award; New Voice Award; Radio Award; Press Award; Digital Media Award; Popular Features Award; Documentary Award; Student Award; Short Film Award; Television Award; News Award and Corruption Reporting Award. Find list of nominees and winners below.
The Special Award won by PREMIUM TIMES is open only to media based in the developing world, and is given annually to an independent media organisation whose outstanding media content has made a real impact on people’s lives.
“The purpose of the award is to demonstrate the positive value of media to society,” organisers say.
PREMIUM TIMES and the two other nominees in this category of the award were chosen from a large pool of candidates which was later narrowed down to a long list of 10, which included Nigeria’s Kaduna-based Liberty Radio.
PREMIUM TIMES is an independent Nigerian investigative newspaper reputed for exposing official corruption, human rights abuses and government inefficiency and the reign of impunity in the land.
The paper, which began publishing in late 2011, is known for offering the fastest breaking news and the deepest investigative reports about Nigeria.
PREMIUM TIMES has become the number one platform for investigative and multimedia journalism in Nigeria, reporting on issues routinely avoided by older media-particularly on corruption in high places.
It has broken some of the biggest anti-corruption stories in Nigeria in the past two years. Indeed, the paper is the only Nigerian medium (and only one of two from Africa-the other being Mail & Guardian of South Africa) invited by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to participate in the recent globally acclaimed groundbreaking investigation into tax haven.
WINNERS AND NOMINEES
WINNER: Premium Times – Nigeria
International Journalist of the Year Award
WINNER: Guillermo Galdos – Channel 4 News
New Voice Award
WINNER: Patrick Kingsley – The Guardian
WINNER: Law Behind Bars – BBC World Service
WINNER: Dispatches: Children on the Frontline – Channel 4
Dispatches: North Korea: Life Inside the Secret State – Channel 4
Orphans of the Sahara: Return – Al Jazeera English
WINNER: Raped, plundered, ignored: central Africa state where only killers thrive – Mark Townsend for The Observer
WINNER: Welcome to Mogadishu – Katrina Manson for the Financial Times
Digital Media Award
WINNER: Invisible Picture Show – Faction Films
Popular Features Award
WINNER: Leave to Remain – Dir: Bruce Goodison
WINNER: Light Fly, Fly High – Dir: Beathe Hofseth, Susann Østigaard
WINNER: Manila Dreaming – San San F. Young, National Film and Television School
Corruption Reporting Award
WINNER: Panaroma: Where’s Our Aid Money Gone? – BBC 1
Short Film Award
WINNER: Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution – Dir: Matthew VanDyke