An editor from Nigeria’s leading investigative paper, PREMIUM TIMES, was on Saturday honoured at this year’s CNN Multichoice African Journalist of the Year Awards in Kenya.
Ibanga Isine, regional editor, south, was named winner of the News Impact category of the awards on a night that saw three other Nigerians clinching top honours to make their country proud.
Mr. Isine had joined 30 other finalists from 15 countries across Africa for an all-expense paid four-day programme of workshops, media forums and networking in Nairobi.
Mr. Isine, a dogged investigative journalist, won the award for his courageous and persistent reporting on the brutal killings by soldiers at the Dangote Cement Factory in Benue state. The factory belongs to Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.
That series of work, which instantly got justice for families of those killed, had earlier earned Mr. Isine an award at the 2014 edition of the prestigious Wole Soyinka Awards for Investigative Journalism.
At the ceremony in Kenya, two reporters from THE PUNCH: Femi Asu and Urukaino Umukoro won in the economic/business and sport reporting categories of the award respectively while Adewale Emosu of the Nigerian Tribune clinched the top prize in the culture reporting category.
Another Nigerian, Kola Tubosun – a blogger at ktravula.com – was also nominated for the awards and was at the finalist programme.
The biggest winner of the day was however Hyacinthe Boowurosigue Sanou of L’Observateur Paalga, in Burkina Faso, who was named overall winner and declared African Journalist of the Year. He had earlier emerged winner of the Francophone General News category of the award.
Winners were also named for other categories.
They include Paul Kelembe from Kenya, who won in the Energy and Infrastructure reporting category and Sarah Wild from South Africa, who emerged tops in the Technology and Innovation reporting category.
Other winners are Carlo Goncalves (Cape Verde) for Portuguese Language General News Award under the print media, while a similar award for the electronic media went to PedroPaxi Pereira Ndoma (Angola).
For the African Development Bank Environment Award, Thomas Bitlegma (Ghana), was named winner, while Julie Laurenz and Jacqueline Jayamaha (South Africa) came tops in Features reporting category.
While the Francophone General News Award (Electronic) went to Ibrahim Diallo (Senegal), Zecharie Ndiomo (Cameroon) was honoured with the year’s press freedom award.
The CNN Multichoice African Journalist Awards competition is now in a landmark 20th year, and winners from previous years joined this year’s finalists for a special evening to celebrate 20 years of the awards.
“The quality and breadth of entries in this, its 20th, year is testament to the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards’ position as the most prestigious recognition for journalism across the continent,” said Tony Maddox, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director of CNN International.
“CNN is privileged to be involved in this important initiative to honor the outstanding work across multiple platforms, topics and journalistic disciplines. I salute the finalists for the great work that they have done and look forward to seeing their future achievements.”
The entries were published or broadcast in 2014 for the following awards: Culture Award; Ecobank Economics & Business Award; Mohamed Amin Photo Award; African Development Bank Environment Award; Press Freedom Award; MSD Health & Medical Award; Sport Reporting Award; News Impact Award; Francophone general news awards; Portuguese language general news awards; GE Energy & Infrastructure Award; Features Award; and Dow Technology & Innovation Award.
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