Facebook verifies PREMIUM TIMES

“This is a welcome statement of identity, affirming again, the true worth of the PREMIUM TIMES brand”.

Popular social media platform, Facebook, on Wednesday verified PREMIUM TIMES, making the investigative paper one of the first Nigerian media establishments to get such an important stamp of approval.

“We are really excited about this because as you know, PREMIUM TIMES is one of the youngest newspapers in Nigeria,” said Emmanuel Ogala, the paper’s Chief Digital Strategist. “We are less than three years old and there are several Nigerian media organisation who have been on Facebook several years before we came. It simply shows that our efforts at giving the best journalism to our country is not in vain.”

Facebook, as a matter of policy, only verifies well-known public figures and pages with huge followership and enduring history.

“We verify profiles or pages to help you be sure that they are who they claim to be,” Facebook says of its verification policy. “Keep in mind that not all authentic profiles and pages are verified and that you can’t request to have your profile or page verified.”

Verified pages include those of respected celebrities, journalists, government officials, popular brands and businesses.

A verification page is identified by a blue badge near its name.

Reacting to his paper’s verification, PREMIUM TIMES’ Editor-in-Chief, Dapo Olorunyomi, said it is great feat. He said it goes further to place some kind of authenticity on the brand.

“This is a welcome statement of identity, affirming again, the true worth of the PREMIUM TIMES brand,” Mr. Olorunyomi said. “We never take our readers for granted, and it comes refreshingly delightful that Facebook itself gives a nod to our sense of authenticity,” Mr. Olorunyomi said.

In October 2013, PREMIUM TIMES suffered a setback when its Facebook page was blocked by the social network. Various emails to different Facebook channels, and a letter to founder Mark Zuckerberg, from this newspaper’s lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, failed to compel the platform to lift the block.

The page remained blocked until February, 2014 when some international freedom of expression groups, activists, and rights organizations pressured Facebook to unblock the page since the company’s works were important in upholding good governance in the country. One notable voice in the mix was the Committee To Protect Journalists, CPJ, with its headquarters in New York.

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.

On May 6, the London-based One World Media honoured the paper with a Special Award 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,” said Phil Harding , a former Director of News and English Networks, BBC World Service, and vice chair of the One World Media’s Board of Trustees, at the award ceremony 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.”


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  • Benedicta

    KUDOS!!!

  • Goodluck

    Tumbs up

    • Jonathan

      ‘Tumbs’? Even if you *think* that’s the expression, why not stop and ask what a ‘tumb’ could possibly be before parroting rubbish?

  • kiliminati

    keep the fire burning ………

  • Wähala

    RESPECT!
    Keep up the great work, we’re fully behind una. Many thanks for doing what others are afraid to do… reporting the truth with bold face. Unlike others who start off on great footing but later get compromised, PT remains head and shoulders above the rest. Kudos!

  • Mosaku 147

    Congrats PT.

  • Osogagba

    Mr Dapo Olorunyomi is quoted here as saying: “We never take our readers for granted…” and then further down this report it says: ” In October 2013, PREMIUM TIMES suffered a setback when its Facebook page was blocked by the social network. Various emails to different
    Facebook channels, and a letter to founder Mark Zuckerberg, from this newspaper’s lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, failed to compel the platform to lift the block.The page remained blocked until February, 2014 when some international friends and rights organizations pressured Facebook to
    unblock the page…” Now, if Mr Olorunyomi’s claims are worth the alphabets in which they are written, maybe PT should be telling its readers here why Facebook “unilaterally” clamped down on their page since this is not a regular action by the social media behemoth. Or, perhaps it had something to do with the dubious Human trafficking story that PT once went to town with?

    • Thank you very much Osogagba. PT does not do dubious reports but it also does not begrudge dubious people who try to cast aspersion on our work. Majority of our readers know the quality of our work. However the facts are these: The Facebook block we suffered (ostensibly instigated by those who hated our reporting) happened in October 2013. The groundbreaking human trafficking report you talked about was published on January 23, 2014. Do you still think there’s a link between the two events? However, the human trafficking report has continued to be commended by people who appreciate what good reporting entails. Thank you again for your comment.

      • Naijawehail

        Congrats and thanks PT for the work and most especially this reply. Best way to answer some of these mumus that keep on insulting your platform and yet keep on coming back for more!!!

  • tsunami1earthquake

    Good and congratulations! But you people must learn how not to continue disapproving readers’ comments. It is not courteous.