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Wole Soyinka Award For Investigative Reporting

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

1.   What is the purpose of the award? The Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting was instituted to reward, annually, rigorous reporting and best practices in the art of investigative reporting in Nigerian journalism as a way of encouraging an investigative reporting culture in the Nigerian media.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

1.   What is the purpose of the award? The Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting was instituted to reward, annually, rigorous reporting and best practices in the art of investigative reporting in Nigerian journalism as a way of encouraging an investigative reporting culture in the Nigerian media.

2.      Who can apply for the award, or is it honorary?

There are merit as well as honorary awards under the award programme. The merit award is open to any Nigerian professional journalist, full-time or freelancers. Awards are given in five broad categories: the print, broadcast (TV and Radio), online and photo journalism categories. In addition to the broad categories, special awards which can be won by any journalist using any medium for the best work in issue based subjects like climate change, and Local government reporting.

Currently, there are two honorary awards; the first, is the Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence, given to a veteran journalist of sterling character and performance while the second, is the Anti-corruption Defender Award which was introduced in 2009 and is given in collaboration with other civil society groups to a Nigerian known for integrity and fight against corruption. In the past, Alhaji Babatunde Jose (2007), Mallam Adamu Ciroma (2008) and Dr. Christopher Kolade (2009) have been presented the Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence while Mallam Nuhu Ribadu received the Anti-corruption Defender Award for 2009.

3.      For how long has the award been in existence?

The award was instituted and has existed since 2005.

4.      Was the award instituted by Wole Soyinka himself?

The award was instituted by the founders of the Wole Soyinka Centre – a group of visionary Nigerians – Media professionals and human rights advocates – who saw the lacuna for a more vibrant, fully-functioning media, and society, and in recognition of Professor Wole Soyinka’s life-long work in support of the freedom of expression, freedom to hold opinion, and freedom to impart them without fear or favour and without hindrance or interference sort the icon’s consent to name the award and indeed the Centre after him.

5.      What are the criteria for winning?

The main criterion for eligibility is that the story (single work or single-subject serial) involves reporting on public or corporate corruption, human rights violation, or on the failure of regulatory agencies. Such works should have been first published or broadcast in a Nigerian media within the past one year of the advertisement of the award. Other criteria are specific to the medium of reporting, e.g. print, broadcast, online, photo, and are advertised yearly.

6.      How many entries can one person send in?

The maximum number of entries a journalist can send in is three (3) single-subject serial works.

7.      What is the process of choosing the final winners?

The final winners are chosen by a board of judges chosen for their professionalism and integrity. Received entries are duplicated and sent to individual judges who after two-weeks of scrutiny, short-list most eligible works and thereafter meet for a scoring session where short-listed works are further questioned and vigorously debated to arrive at a final list of jointly decided winners.

8. What should be included in the submission package?

The submission package for the award should include an original copy of the entry (picture, hard copy of published story (for print), soft copy of broadcast story (on CD/DVD), etc.); a brief synopsis of the entry; a covering letter; a narrative resume of the journalist(s) who bears the byline of the story and one passport photograph.

9.      What do award winners stand to gain?
Winners of the Soyinka prize are called “Soyinka Laureates” and win prizes in cash and kind. Winners in the different categories in the 2009 award, for example, won a cash prize of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100, 000), a laptop and one-year free internet access each. Organisers of the award are also working hard on increasing the award win to include an all expense paid international exposure experience for the 2010 Laureates. Apart from these, a Soyinka Laureate stands to gain from the pride and prestige that naturally follows being able to include the award as part of their resume and also getting recommendation letters from the Centre if and when necessary.
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More questions? Please send your enquiries to [email protected], also visit www.wscij.org for information on 2010 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting.

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