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2014: Harvest of awards for The Nation

Published by The Nation on Wed, 31 Dec 2014

The strings of awards in its kitty notwithstanding, The Nation is inspired by its vision and mission to become the paper of first choice on the newsstand. Assistant Editor, Olukorede Yishau writes that the best is yet to come for the newspaper despite its impressive outing in the outgoing yearThe signs emerged early in the year. It was at the Promasidor award for journalists. Head of Investigation Desk and multiple award winner Adekunle Yusuf emerged the Industry Reporter of the Year. The judges citation on the story titled A tale of two endangered empires reflected how thorough Yusuf was in gathering and putting together this story on the collapse industrial sector in Kano and Kaduna. For this sterling piece of journalism, he was sponsored for a course on Digital Journalism at the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos.On the heels of this came the Golden Pen Award organised by the Nigerian Breweries, and for the first time in the history, the award spread its catchment area beyond brands reporting. And when the answer to the winner of the N1 million worth overall prize was announced, it turned out to be The Nations Seun Akioye. The judges led by respected Mass Communication teacher Prof Ralph Akinfeleye were full of praises for the story titled Even the rich envy us the way we live. The judges were proved right later in the year when the story went on to win two more major awards.The Rotary Humanitarian Awards, which came next, saw Associate Editor Olatunji Ololade clinching a prize.Before the last lap of the year, Akioye and Brand Correspondent Adedeji Ademigbuji were honoured outside the country for their excellent reportorial and writing skills. Their attention to details were praised by the judges of the WASH Media Award and the Schneider Prize for Electrical Counterfeiting in Africa.In August, Akioye emerged the winner of international environment awardthe WASH Media Awardorganised by the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), Geneva and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). The award was presented during the World Water Week in Stockholm. His winning entry titled Lagosians shun public toilets as open defecation continues detailed the challenge of .Akioye also clinched the third position at the Hala Nigeria Story Contest. The contest was organised by the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ), a non- profit organisation that advances quality journalism worldwide with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.The contest: Hala Nigeria: Many Voices, Better Lives, is designed to increase public engagement and amplify citizen voices in health news. The project, which means Speak Out, Nigeria, focused on the use of new digital tools to spur citizen engagement, promote data-driven reporting to take advantage of Nigerias new open data movement, organise public events around key health issues, and engage journalists to expand coverage into neglected regions.Ademigbuji got the Schneider Prize for Electrical Counterfeiting in Africa at an elaborate event in Paris.Ololade won the CNN African Journalist of the Year in the Medical and Health Reporting category. He received the prize before a cheering audience in Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania.Ololade won the CNN award for his story titled: This marriage will kill meTragedy of Nigerias child brides. The judges praised Ololade for his excellent writing and attention to details.This is what the judges said about his winning entry: This category provides the challenge of making often complicated and technical issues understandable and readable. Our two excellent finalists illustrate both the range of entries and how well many of those rose to the challenge. Our winner produced a moving account of Nigerias child brides and a close look at the devastating medical and personal implications of forcing young teenagers to marry much older men. It is a major story on a widespread problem, written with a deep sense of humanity, and an excellent attention to detail. The medical issues are set out with clarity and the result leaves one with a tangible sense of the horrors of this practice and the long-term trauma. It is a moving and informative exemplar of the value of well-crafted health reporting. It was well-illustrated and effectively presented.The last lap of the year was the icing on the cake. At the national and continental levels, this newspapers reporters garnered awards upon awards so much that there is no other way to describe the newspapers attainment other than to say: it has been a wonderful year.The Nation won eight awardsthe highest by any newspaperat the November 9 Nigeria Media Merit Awards (NMMA) in Owerri, the Imo State capital and sevenalso the highestat the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence (DAME) in Lagos. This newspaper was also named Newspaper of the Year and the Editor, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso was named as Editor of the Year at the DAME.Managing Director Victor Ifijeh said the DAME awards confirmed this newspapers feats at the NMMA. Youve made us proud, he told the awardees at a reception organised for the winners.The honours, he said: Are for all our reporters everywhere and for our perceptive writers and our sub-editors, who ensure standard as well as our non-editorial colleagues, who provide the logistics.Ifijeh recalled that in the DAME citation, The Nation was described as one of the giants. We want to be the giant, he said, adding: We must continue to press onas defined in our Visionto be the first paper of choice for discerning readers. We will get there. We will be the undisputed champion. In fact, with eight awards from NMMA and seven from DAME- with 15 nominationswe are the champion.While declaring the newspaper the dame of the industry at the 23rd DAME, the organiser said: In emerging The Newspaper of the Year for the first time at DAME, The Nation put up an impressive fight, elbowing out The Punch in a close finish. The Nation won five DAMEs in Informed Commentary, Development Reporting, Health Reporting, Political Reporting, and Judicial Reporting. She also came second in six categories, namely Informed Commentary, Development Reporting, Child-Friendly Reporting, Business Reporting, Editorial Writing and Press Investigative Reporter of the year.Finally, she also recorded two third place positions in Press Investigative Reporter of the year award and Development Reporting. Established in 2006, The Nation has gradually emerged as a paper of record, parading some of the most enterprising reporters and columnists in the land. Guided by its Editor-in-Chief/Managing Director Victor Ifijeh and the Editor, Gbenga Omotoso, and Sam Omatseye, its Editorial Board chairman, and a host of other key officers, The Nation is truly one of Nigerias leading newspapers giants.At DAME, Editorial Board Chairman Sam Omatseye won the prize for Informed Commentary.Of the 19 awards up for grabs, The Nation won seven. Ololade got the Peninsula Resort Prize for Health Reporting. His winning entry is Blind Medicine, published on April 6, 2013. Ololade was also runner-up in the Child-Friendly and Development Reporting categories.Akioye won the Development Reporting Prize with his entry Even the rich envy us the way we live, published in The Nation on Saturday, April 20, 2013. Assistant Editor Joke Kujenya, was runner-up in this category. This was the third prize the story won this year. The expose on Dustbin Estate in Ajeromi/Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State, has won the N1 million Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and the NMMA Environment Reporting prize.Akioye was also a runner-up in the Investigative Reporting category, which was won by Yusuf for his story How addiction to corruption is killing the drug agency. The report was published by Tell Communications Limited, Yusufs former employer. Akioye, and Chief Correspondent, Kunle Akinrinade, were runners-up in this category. Yusuf was also runner-up in the Business Reporting category.Group Political Editor Emmanuel Oladesu won the Anthony Enahoro Prize for Political Reporting with his entry Census: Can Nigeria get it right' published on September 24, 2013.Senior Correspondent (Judiciary) Joseph Jibueze got the Judicial Reporting prize, with his entry Rape: Why most suspects escape justice. The story was published on June 17, 2013.At the NMMA, a fortnight before the DAME, the newspapers reporters made a haul of eight top awards from a record 17 nominations.This newspaper proved that it parades some of the best commentators in the industry, with Editorial Board member Steve Osuji emerging the Columnist of the Year. Omotoso was runner-up.Yusuf won the Olagunsoye Oyinlola Prize for Culture and Tradition Reporter of the Year and the Chevron Nigeria Prize for Oil and Gas Reporter of the Year. He won the Culture and Tradition Prize with a story entitled: Help, Nigerian languages are disappearing!, published on November 13, 2013. His story, How Nigeria lost $11 billion to vandalism and theft, won the Oil and Gas Prize.Yusuf, who joined this newspaper last year, also won a third prize as the Cecil King Memorial Prize for Print Journalist of the Year with an entry published by his former employer, Tell Communications Limited. His sterling achievements caught the attention of the host governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who rewarded him with an additional N500, 000 cash.The Nations Oluwakemi Dauda also clinched the Maritime Reporter of the Year Award.This newspapers reporters were also finalists in other categories. Collins Nweze was runner-up in the Banking and Finance category. Innocent Duru was runner-up in the Feature Writing Category.Assistant Editor Lucas Ajanaku was also runner-up in the Telecommunication Reporter of the Year category.A senior cartoonist with this newspaper, Muyiwa Adetula, was also runner-up in the Nnamdi Azikwe Prize for Cartoonist of the Year.The Nations performance at the NMMAshowed an improvement on last years record when it won six top awards, including the Newspaper of the Year and Editor of the Year.The newspaper closed the year with Ololade and Chief Correspondent Kunle Akinrinade clinching the Wole Soyinka Prize for Investigative Journalism in the health reporting category for their three-part series on herbal gin. Their co-authored five-part series on Lafarge Cement was runner-up in the print journalist category.And projecting into the New Year, the newspapers editors say the awards haul will certainly continue, given the great journalism pieces done in the outgoing year.The post 2014: Harvest of awards for The Nation appeared first on The Nation.]]>
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