The journalism fellowship is to increase public awareness on tobacco
PREMIUM TIMES’ Online Editor, Emmanuel Ogala, and five others have emerged winners of the inaugural Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center, CISLAC, and Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/FoEN, inaugural Tobacco Control Investigative Journalism Fellowship.
The Fellowship grant, funded by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, CTFK, is part of the organisation’s efforts to build the capacity of the Nigerian media to report tobacco control from an informed perspective and stimulate policies and actions to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll.
The Fellowship is also aimed at building and improving the public’s awareness on tobacco control and its related issues.
In a statement issued jointly in Lagos, the ERA/FoEN and CISLAC said that entries from the successful journalists were picked after a rigorous screening process by a panel of veteran journalists.
The other winners include Godwin Haruna of ThisDay Newspaper; Shina Fadare of National Mirror; Bashirat Abdulwahab–Olomada, a freelance journalist; Enoghase Osio of Daily Independent; and Oyeyemi Oyedeji of The Nation.
“We applaud the successful journalists for demonstrating willingness to go the extra mile in unearthing what the tobacco companies are ready to keep hidden from the public. This initiative is indeed timely and marks a turning point in tobacco control reporting in Nigeria,” said Akinbode Oluwafemi, ERA/FoEN’s Director, Corporate Accountability & Administration.
Auwal Rafsanjani of CISLAC congratulated the successful journalists whose story ideas, he noted, were adjudged worthy of the grant.
“We now expect more reports on the tobacco industry tactics to undermine the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, FCTC, in their bid to addict young smokers,” Mr. Rafsanjani said.
The CTFK-funded fellowship was announced on September 13, 2013, asking practising journalists working with national print, electronic or online media organisations to send in story ideas revolving around the following themes: Tobacco Farming, Tobacco and Health, Marketing of tobacco to minors, Tobacco Smuggling, Taxation, Tobacco Industry Corporate Social Responsibility, Tobacco Prevalence and National Tobacco Control Bill legislative Process.
Entry for the second round of the fellowship will open in November, 2013.