Okei-Odumakin Felicitates With Soyinka At 86
Prof. Wole Soyinka

Award winning Investigative Journalist and Managing Editor of the Next Edition newspaper, Ibanga Isine, and Premium Times publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi are among the eminent media professionals billed to speak at the Wole Soyinka Conference, Awards 2020 on media repression.

The event is held by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ).

To mark the 15th anniversary of the awards, the programme will feature a conference and public presentation of prizes.

The conference will hold on Monday, December 7 and Tuesday, December 8, as webinars on Zoom from 1p.m to 2:30p.m, with the theme, “Masked, not silenced”

The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, CEO, WSCIJ, Motunrayo Alaka who disclosed this in a press statement explained that the theme had been carefully chosen to address the effects of COVID-19, the repression of freedom of expression and attacks on the news media in Nigeria and Africa.

The statement stated that over the three-day event, media professionals and enthusiasts will speak to the status of legal frameworks for press freedom, the pandemic, protests and other sustainability factors that adversely affect the news media in the country.

“They will also discuss ways the Nigerian media has survived despite these odds as well as chart a way forward for the future.

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Other discussants at the conference and awards include Simon Kolawole, founder and chief executive officer, The Cable newspaper; Ruona Meyer, freelancer and award-winning journalist; Amina Yuguda, award winning broadcast journalist and Motunrayo Alaka, executive director/CEO, WSCIJ among others.

The statement said Tolu Adeleru-Balogun, head of presentations, News Central TV and Mayowa Tijani, business and development editor at The Cable, will moderate sessions.

Meanwhile, eight journalists, Lade Bonuola, founding member and pioneer Associate Editor of The Guardian newspaper, and Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, will be honoured at the award presentation event of the 15th Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting holding, on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, at NECA House, Lagos.

Mr. Alaka, in the press statement said Abigail Ndisika-Ogwezzy, chairperson of the 2020 judges’ committee 2020, presented the shortlist of journalists after the score’s collation meeting on Tuesday November 24.

He said the finalists include Habib Oladapo of Sahara Reporters, Ibrahim Adeyemi of BusinessDay, ‘Bukola Samuel-Wemimo of TVC News, Samson Folarin of Punch, Taiwo Hassan Adebayo of Premium Times, Ikechukwu Ibe of Daily Trust, Damilola Banjo of Sahara Reporters and Victor Asowata of The Punch.

According to him, their stories were painstakingly selected from 188 entries received by a seven-person judges board.

He said Lade Bonuola will be presented the lifetime award for journalistic excellence for his contribution to independent journalism in Nigeria through his years of service at the Guardian newspaper, in the publication’s haydays and his commitment to promoting positive values that link media reporting to good governance and social justice.

“On his part, Femi Falana, was chosen for the human rights defender award for his consistent defence for the freedom of people who become targets because they voiced their opinion and those oppressed because they are not able to speak for themselves.”

The Next Edition reports that the  Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting was launched in October 2005 as WSCIJ’s flagship programme.