HumAngle Nigeria journalist, Muhammed Akinyemi, has been topped the Finest West African Journalist of the 12 months on the seventh version of the West African Media Excellence Awards (WAMECA).
Mr Akinyemi, one in all 17 journalists shortlisted for the regional awards, bagged the highest prize at an awards ceremony in Accra, Ghana, on Saturday night.
The earlier 2022 version of WAMECA was gained by Tessy Igomu, head of investigations at Punch Newspapers in Nigeria.
The organizers of the awards, West Africa Media Basis (MFWA), stated 855 functions have been obtained from journalists from 15 West African nations for the newest 2023 version.
Sulemana Braimah, government director of the MFWA, stated the 825 entries had been filtered right down to 100 earlier than: “a three-member jury selected the 17 finalists after which narrowed them down to 6 winners in six classes. Finalists are winners in their very own proper.
Throughout the colourful awards ceremony on Saturday, the winners of the six classes have been revealed.
Mr. Akinyemi gained the Environmental Reporting class together with his article titled “All Die Na Die: The Coronary heart of Nigeria’s Soot Drawback.”
Printed in Could 2022, that of Mr. Akinyemi a painstakingly detailed story of how unlawful oil actions trigger irreparable environmental air pollution in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, within the South-South area of Nigeria.
The article, which gained the Environmental Reporting class with a $500 money award, additionally earned Mr Akinyemi the West African Journalist Award and a $2,000 money prize.
Different classes of winners have been: Gbenga Salau (Guardian Newspaper Nigeria) who gained the financial journalism award; Emmanuel Debrah (Multimedia Group Restricted Ghana) gained the ICT reporting class; the prize for reporting on migration was awarded to Emmanuel Ayamga (Pulse Ghana); Komla Adom (TV3, Ghana) gained the award within the Human Rights class; and the Investigative Reporting Award went to Francisca Enchill (Pleasure Information, Ghana).
The six winners every obtained $500 for his or her enterprising reporting efforts.
PREMIUM TIME the migration report was among the many 17 shortlisted finalists for the rewards.
Journalists should have interaction in accountable reporting
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, who introduced the grand prize to Mr. Akinyemi, urged journalists throughout the African continent to have interaction in accountable reporting.
Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), in his remarks as visitor speaker, denounced the rise of navy regimes throughout Africa.
He additionally condemned the undemocratic conduct of some African leaders who modified their constitutions in a determined try to remain in energy.
The lawyer suggested journalists to have interaction in important reporting to uncover individuals and establishments concerned in illicit monetary flows in Africa.
Democracy in peril in Africa
Earlier, MFWA Govt Director Mr. Braimah stated: “There’s a recession in democratic governance in Africa.
He expressed concern in regards to the erosion of fundamental human rights and press freedom, that are the cornerstones of democracy.
“We should always all be involved in regards to the erosion of the elemental ideas of democracy,” Mr Braimah stated.
Denouncing the suffocation of media house throughout Africa, Mr. Braimah urged journalists to defy all obstacles and maintain the federal government accountable.
Talking on the opening of WAMECA on Thursday, famend communications professor and MFWA founder Kwame Karikari stated: “Democracy is underneath siege in Africa.”
He highlighted the rise of navy regimes in West Africa, notably within the French-speaking nations of Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Niger, the place there’s a shrinking democratic house.
Mr. Karikari spoke on the theme of the convention, “Media and democracy in Africa”.
He famous that “the state of democratization throughout the continent in the present day faces threats of main recessions.”
The educational lamented that key pillars of democracy – freedom of the press, human rights and freedom of expression – are disappearing from Africa.
Referring to the conduct of elections on the continent, Mr. Karikari stated that “each sort of fraud conceivable has undermined the sanctity of elections and lowered the establishment to a farce in very many instances.”
In Nigeria, for instance, the outcomes of elections, notably these of the latest presidential vote, have been contested by opposition political events all the best way to the Supreme Court docket, the place the victory of the ruling get together was confirmed.
Elections proceed to be marred by fraud and violence in lots of African nations.
The beliefs of clear multi-party elections, human rights, freedom of expression, socio-economic progress and safety “…are in the present day underneath critical siege throughout our continent”.
“This explains why virtually all elections in Africa finish in some controversy, authorized dispute or excessive violence, or perhaps a coup, as has occurred in some West African states. “
“Corruption and disrespect for democratic norms and values on the a part of ruling elites and the political class generally have weakened the rule of regulation and rendered state establishments ineffective.
“The system of checks and balances imagined to be launched within the political administration of the state is usually dysfunctional. »
The awards ceremony was attended by Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Data, Fatimatu Abubakar; Robert Karanja, senior director at Co-Develop; and Emily Fertik, Public Affairs Advisor on the U.S. Embassy in Ghana, amongst different dignitaries.
The three-member jury, comprising Hamadou Tidiane Sy and Reyhana Masters-Smith, praised the advance within the topic of investigative journalism within the sub-region.
Nevertheless, he noticed issues associated to “context, weak or poor writing, and grammatical errors in titles.”
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