A journalist with The Cable newspaper, Taiwo Adebulu, has won the 2020 African fact-check award in the working journalist category.
Mr Adebulu, a reporter with the online newspaper, won the award for his piece; ‘FACT CHECK: Nigeria told UN that 7 varsities run strictly on renewable energy, but is this true?’
In his fact-check, Mr Adebulu investigated how Nigeria’s minister of environment had grossly misinformed the United Nations at its Climate Action Summit in 2019.
The runner-up in the working journalist category was Aisha Abdool Karim of South Africa’s Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism for a report in which she found that the so-called Covid-19 “vaccine” that a South African mayor wanted to buy is not a vaccine but a drug that wasn’t proven to work against the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
The winner of the category of Fact-Check of the Year by a Student Journalist was Marième Fatou Dramé from the CESTI journalism school in Senegal who did a report looking into claims about the financial costs and other impacts of menstruation on Senegalese women throughout their lifetimes.
The runner-up was Oluwaseye Ogunsanya, a student of the Lagos State University in Nigeria, for a fact-check in which he found that a video claiming that Nigeria’s Minister of Education announced the resumption of schools on 7 September was doctored.
Announcing the winners of the 2020 fact-checking awards on Thursday, Africa Check said it received 192 entries from 27 countries.
Africa Check is Africa’s first Independent fact-checking website and held its inaugural awards in 2014.
During the virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, Africa Check, said the impressive entries submitted for the 2020 awards show the growing and vibrant practice of fact-checking on the continent.
“In what has been a year like no other, we’ve received the highest number of entries in the history of the African Fact-Checking Awards: 192 entries from 27 countries across Africa,” the organisers said.
Speaking on the award, Noko Makgato, executive director at Africa Check, said the competition will strengthen the quality of public debate and, hopefully, improve the quality of life across the continent.
“With health-related decisions sometimes being a matter of life or death, good fact-checking journalism is vital – now more than ever,” Makgato said.
“The quality of information disseminated in public can determine the life outcomes of many and so it is the responsibility of the media to refrain from being conduits of misinformation.”
The winner of the best fact-check in the category for journalists picked up a first prize of $3,000 and the runner-up $1,500. The winner of the student category takes home $2,000 and the runner-up wins $1,000.
Mr Adebulu, the overall winner of the 2020 Africa Check awards holds a master’s degree in communication arts from the University of Ibadan. He is also a recipient of the 2020 BudgIT/Civic Hive media fellowship.