Two PREMIUM TIMES journalists shortlisted for Africa Fact-Checking Awards

Three Nigerian news entries are among the only eight that made the final shortlist of the inaugural Africa Fact-Checking Awards, according to a statement from the organisers, Africa Check and the AFP Foundation.

Two of the three entries were written by PREMIUM TIMES reporters.
The Africa Fact-Checking Awards, which seeks to honour the best pieces of investigative fact-checking work across Africa each year, parades a block-buster row of sponsors which includes Google, Omidyar Network, the Open Society Institute, the AFP foundation, the Wits University in South Africa and the Africa News Innovation Network.

PREMIUM TIMES, Nigeria’s leading multimedia content producers, is the only African media house to have two of its entries make the final shortlist.

The stories are Ini Ekott’s, “Nigerian Senate’s resolution on Imo based on rumours; no evidence state planned IDs for Northerners,” and Musikilu Mojeed’s “Aviation Minister Stella Oduah in fresh fake doctorate scandal / American education dept, university confirm Stella Oduah’s honorary Ph.D is fake”.

Mr. Ekott, a physicist turned journalist, is acting head of PREMIUM TIMES investigations unit, while Mr. Mojeed is the paper’s managing editor.

The only other Nigerian story to make the final list is “Reopening Jonathan’s Bag of Many Promises / Jonathan’s N.163trn Road Projects Await Completion” by the Sunday Trust based in Abuja. Theophilus Abbah, editor of the paper, and two of his reporters jointly wrote the story.

Organisers of the award said an independent jury of eminent European and African journalists will now consider the final shortlist of eight entries and the winner and two runners up will be announced at a Forum on Media Strategies due to take place in Nairobi in mid-November.

“Checking the accuracy of what public figures say, and not simply parroting their words, is a fundamental of good journalism, said Emmanuel Hoog, Chairman of the AFP Foundation and CEO of its parent organisation, the AFP news agency, adding that “It is also essential for democracies to function properly, that claims made in the public domain be held up to scrutiny and checked openly and impartially.

Mr. Hogg explained that while this is not always easy for journalists, given the reality of working to a 24-hour news cycle, that “is why it is important to honour those who do this vital work, taking the claims that public figures make, and checking the evidence which supports, as well as that which undermines, them.”

Commenting, Eric Chinje, CEO of the African Media Initiative (AMI), a board member of Africa Check, and chair of the judges, explained the importance of fact-checking in journalism.

“Media has a critical role to play in Africa’s emergence and the credibility of the media message is fundamental to that role. This demands fairness, balance and factual reporting. At the heart of it all is that all-important but often challenging ‘fact-checking’,” he said.

More than 40 entries vied for this award from journalists in 10 countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The other finalists are Phillip de Wet of the Mail & Guardian (South Africa) who wrote “In this microcosm of South Africa, President Zuma’s words ring false,” and Tunusian journalist Med Dhia Hammami of who wrote “Enquête sur le gaz de schiste en Tunisie: des profondeurs du sous-sol tunisien aux paradis fiscal !”

The others are Paul Shalala of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation who produced “The impact of Multi-National Mining Investment on Food Security in Zambia” an article and accompanying video) as well as the team of Edem Stem, Gifty Andoh Appiah, Nicolas Atta Addo, Ebenezer Tagoe and Eric Agbalekpor from the Ghana site who produced “Trading Ghana’s Water for Gold”


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  • the truth

    bs, did you check the facts before running to media to say the 9.3 million dollar deal with south africa was illegitimate. now the south african government has owned up to it been legitimate with proof of bill of laden i hope you will post that. i am still refreshing my page and i have not seen a correction from u guys

    • Swantrap

      Do you have brains? If it was legitimate why is it still seized, and why is the second bid also confiscated? Stop your propaganda and seek facts. South Africa owned up to nothing!

      • the truth

        please before you abuse me have you read the report on the next step of return of the cash. please after reading the report tell me who has no brains

      • nwa Biafra

        Its legitimate, Nigeria media like premium time and sahara reporters thought that they are fighting GEJ but don’t know that they are promoting him

        • the truth

          they have people like swantrap who take their words for gospel truth. why not take your time to research yourself, still waiting for premium times to run this news.

        • Wähala

          Legitimate yet, they are investigating both infringements… Thinking is not for everybody!

    • Wähala

      BS… ba?
      Yet, you’re always the first to run to their media house for information.
      Why don’t you go on strike to protest your grievances… it’s called, putting your action where your mouth is.
      South African Govt. cannot own up to the legitimacy of illegality by instituting a “criminal investigation” and still chain our obese warlord (ati CAN’s Sec. Gen) to the pissy floors of Zulu jailhouse. Cotonou is not Robin Island, no Seme border to close… start your protest against those near-naked Zulus by flushing your MTN chip down the toilet. Like I often say, talk is free… action speaks louder than mouth organ. Do something, chairman of clowns… oloti buruku. Ode!

      • the truth

        mr wahala if you have observed we may have different views but i have never abused you or called you names, u know why? i respect your views and cant insult you for having different views to me. we are to act civilized and not like touts at the motor park, i pray that one day you would have the guts to address issues against your opponents in a civilized manner and educating them instead of name calling. because this your stance does not separate you from the people you despise. i look forward to a better tone from you. do you say onsa is not legitimate to say what is right and wrong?

        • Wähala

          Take your best shot… my diction remains my prerogative!
          There is something called, “diplomatic language” which is nothing but disguised or polite insults…
          Pal, Baseball is no Hockey even though both are played with bats… one is a gentleman’s game and the other is for sluggers. I am at “Home Plate” and my job is to discourage miscreants like you from disseminating falsehood. Just a few hours ago you were marketing lies and @Maria & I caught you with your pants down. Instead of repenting, you’re at it again. So, it requires blowing you out of the ballpark for others to learn to shoot straight… ever heard of “scape goat”? A He-Goat is a scape goat because of his proclivity to commit atrocities. Repent so you may enter my father’s house…

          • the truth

            caught on which lies, i said the news was on daily post nigeria, you said i ws lieing and i provided name of editor, date and caption. was that a lie? or where did i lie? i told you aljazeera america carried this news you said i am lieing, i told you i am presently getting the finishing touches to uploading that news. but u have not apologized for the dailypost nigeria news which you called me a liar which i just produced. please go read the rapport news too. so my brother where did i lie? or where you the one jumping on maria’s backside running to the banks with her refute

  • Wähala

    Kudos! Premium Times ojare, making the final cut in two heavyweight divisions is enough to boost our confidence…
    Hopefully, we, your faithful readers will see some crumbs to pick since our comments/reactions constitute “moral support”…
    Sha, kill the snake first but tell us exactly how many pieces are involved since nothing-goes-for-nothing, we’re not just soaking the chaplet in Holy Water for you clowns to bath in spirituality alone. Translation: A good shepherd remembers his flock… Bestens !!!

  • katalyst

    I wonder why what is politically correct should be to treat Foolanis with kid gloves.

  • onenigerian2014

    People like this write-up great. People don’t like this write-up great. As long as you Fani like it yourself that all that matters. Thank you to every person who has ever said we can’t stop these invaders from all their wicked ways. They are just another reason we will. There can be no positive result through negative attitude of the carnage and tyranny of these evil Fulani herdsmen. They should think positively. And leave with their host positively.