The ninth edition of the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting opens for submission of entries on Saturday October 4, 2014, the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism has announced.
The announcement came as the 2013 winners return from a one-week study tour to the United Kingdom which spanned from Monday 29 September to Friday 3 October, 2014. The international exposure included classes at the Thomson Foundation as well as visits to some media organisations in the UK.
The award is open to any Nigerian professional reporter or team of reporters (full time or freelancers), who have produced a published story whether through print or electronic media (television; radio or online) primarily targeted at and received by a Nigerian audience.
Entries, according to Motunrayo Alaka, coordinator of the centre, will be scored by a panel of judges drawn from the media and related professions who are passionate about investigative reporting.
Towards strengthening the judging process, the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), introduced an entry coding system that makes the details of media house and by-line of entrants anonymous to judges in 2012. This has helped to further increase the credibility of the award programme.
The 2014 award will honour works that expose corruption, human rights abuses and regulatory failures from the print, broadcast (radio and television); online, local government, photo, climate change, sports, health, editorial cartoon and report women categories.
The report women category is introduced this year as a part of WSCIJ’s Report Women! project. The project is geared at increasing the reportage of girls and women issues in the Nigerian media. The award will reward the most outstanding story which focuses on access and or abuse status of the girl or woman.
The best work in the broadcast category will also win the VinMartin Ilo grant for investigative reporting.
The deadline for submission of entries is Friday, 24 October, 2014. Interested reporters may visit www.wscij.org for details of the 2014 award.
ABOUT THE AWARD
The Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting was first held in October 2005 to encourage the development of an investigative tradition in the Nigerian media through rigorous scrutiny of human rights violations, regulatory failures and corruption in the public and corporate sectors of the nation’s life and has so far rewarded 59 finalists.
ABOUT THE CENTRE
The WOLE SOYINKA CENTRE FOR INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM (WSCIJ) is a non-governmental organisation with a vision to stimulate the emergence of a socially just community defined by the ethics of inclusion, transparency and accountability through support to the news media. Initially known as the Wole Soyinka Investigative Reporting Award (WSIRA), the change in name became necessary in 2008 to reflect the intentions of the coordinators to embrace a more robust line of activities that have greater capacity for engendering the right values of investigative reporting in the Nigerian media. The Centre is named after Professor Wole Soyinka in recognition of his life-long work in support of the freedom of expression, freedom to hold opinion, and freedom to impart them without fear or favour and without hindrance or interference.