Daily Trust reporter, Venessa Offiong has emerged the Africa Media Development Foundation 2019 Journalist of the Year for her story entitled “Abuja Communities Where Girls Are Raped En route School”.
Sahara Reporters reporter, Damilola Banjo emerged the first runner-up, for her story entitled, “Blood – Thirsty Demons of Zamfara”, while Oladeinde Olawoyin of Premium Timesemerged second runner-up, for his story entitled “With Nigeria’s Fishes Disappearing Amid Government Neglect, Nation Spends Millions on Importation.”
The organization also honoured a media veteran, Programme Director of Development Communications Network (DevComs) Lagos, Mr. Akin Jimoh with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his immeasurable contribution to promotion of development journalism in Nigeria.
Speaking at the 3rd AMDF Journalist of the Year presentation held during the just concluded Africa Conference on Development Journalism in Kaduna, between 10 – 12 December, Chairman of the panel of judges of the Award, Managing Editor of Africa Prime News, Mr. Joseph Edegbo hinted that, the panel received 25 entries, out of which three finalists were shortlisted.
He said, “the entries were assessed to know whether they were ethically or professionally written to which ratings were decided arising from these attributes; headline, story idea, news value, thematic richness, investigation and research inputs, and balance.”
Edegbo, a retired but not tired journalist then encouraged other journalists to always go in-depth in their stories and apply whenever such opportunity is advertised online.
Eaier, Executive Director of AMDF, Mr. Iliya Kure, congratulated the finalists for putting their best to bring stories that matter to the common man, just as he congratulated the honorary award recipients including Pathfinder International for their work in promoting development journalism.
He tasked journalists to be resilient in their work of holding power to account despite the challenges they face in Nigeria and around the world, saying journalism is not a crime.
In a closing remark, Chairman, AMDF Board of Directors, Dr. Yila Umaru, expressed appreciation to panel of judges and guests, tasking journalists to promote stories that will enhance the wellbeing of the common man.
“It is only when you highlight issues around the common man that intervention will come in that direction,” he noted.