Joseph Stiglitz, an American economist and a professor at Columbia University, New York, has picked the editor-in-chief of PREMIUM TIMES, Musikilu Mojeed, as one of the journalists he admires most around the world.
Mr Stiglitz also picked another Nigerian journalist, Omoyele Sowore, who is the publisher of SaharaReporters.
Mr Stiglitz, a public policy analyst, is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and the John Bates Clark Medal.
The Nobel Prize-winning economist was asked in an interview with The New York Times to mention the writers, novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists, and poets he admires most.
“We support the Committee to Protect Journalists and I admire brave reporters all over the world including María Teresa Ronderos (Colombia), Giannina Segnini (Costa Rica and now a colleague at Columbia), Ferial Haffajee in South Africa, Musikilu Mojeed (Nigeria) and the tenacious human rights reporters at Rappler (Philippines),” Mr Stiglitz said in the interview.
Continuing, he said, “A Columbia alum and citizen journalist, Omoyele Sowore, ran for president in Nigeria and was arrested after a controversial tweet. Now more than ever we need good journalism and we are getting it thanks to the philanthropists funding groups like the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, ProPublica, The Marshall Project, Daily Maverick and others.”
The interview was published Thursday in The New York Times.
Mr Mojeed, a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), has won multiple awards within and outside Nigeria. He was a co-winner of the 2017 edition of the Global Shining Light Award, a prize endowed by the Global Investigative Journalism Network. He also shared a Pulitzer Prize for his ICIJ team’s reporting on the Panama Papers.
Mr Stiglitz, 77, mentioned a Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie, as one of the three writers he would love to invite if he were to organise a literary dinner party. The other two are Diksha Basu, Indian-born author, and Anita Desai, an Indian novelist who has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times.
Another Nigerian author, the late Chinua Achebe, also got a mention in the interview when Mr Stiglitz was asked about what book he was planning to read.
“The journalist Robyn Meredith came back from Hong Kong and got us organized into a monthly reading group. We are rereading “Things Fall Apart,” by Chinua Achebe, this month and then next month we will read Claude McKay’s book “Romance in Marseille,” which has just been rediscovered,” he said.
Mr Stiglitz said what moves him most in a work of literature are stories of struggle, fighting injustice and oppression.
He does not go near science fiction, he said. “Not sure why. I just don’t. Perhaps it’s because I think it’s hard enough to understand our own world and try to fix it. It’s escapism to try to create another one.”
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