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Raypower reporter, others receive Wole Soyinka’s Investigative Journalism Awards

Prof. Wole Soyinkasoyinka

By Grace Alegba/Franklin Ohaegbu
Lagos, Feb. 5, 2019

Mrs Adejoke Fayemi has emerged the winner of the 2018 Fellows of Female Reporters’ Leadership Programme (FRLP), initiated by Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ).

The Fellows were trained on reporting issues of women and girls.

Fayemi, a staff of Raypower FM, Kaduna on Tuesday in Lagos went home with a cash prize of N200,000 and a laptop for an investigative story on defilement of a minor in Kaduna.

While receiving the award, she thanked the organisers, her husband and other contestants for giving her the desired push to excel in the investigation that gave her the award.

She told NAN that “courage, determination and hard work’’ helped her to record success while pursuing the investigation.

The first runner-up, Mrs Ejiro Umukoro, a journalist with Trend FM, Delta State, went home with N150,000 and a laptop for an investigative story on cultism among minors in the state.

Umukoro attributed her success to bravery, courage and challenging the status quo to give a voice to the oppressed and marginalised segment of the communities in the state.

The second runner-up, Mrs Enato Isukul of the Niger Delta Television, Yenagoa, pledged to give half of her N100,000.00 cash reward for the rehabilitation of one of the minors of drug abuse in her story.

“I want to thank God because He provided the energy,” she said while receiving the award.

Also, all other fellows took turns to present their projects.

While making her presentation, Mrs Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Abuja, said her research was done on mentoring 38 interns posted to the agency.

“For my story project, I wrote on depression,’’ she said.

Elebiyo-Edeni said she carried out a survey that revealed an alarming result that 81 per cent of widows in the group captured were going through depression and needed medical attention.

NAN reports that all the other Fellows promised to “put on the gender lens’’ in their reportage to capture issues of women better.

Earlier, Mrs Motunrayo Alaka, Centre Coordinator, Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ ) said several media houses did not have women in leadership positions, saying this did not allow females in the media to utilise their full potential.

Alaka said several news contents did not capture the success story of women who were making impact, making it is seemed like “female persons do not exist’’.

She said there should be “intentional“ efforts to capture women in reportage,
saying that, there was a decline in female representation among aspirants in the 2019 general elections.

She explained that the Fellows’ researched stories and leadership projects; and were making impact in their newsrooms, publishing various reports on societal imbalances on women issues.

“We are saying that they (women) have the brains, the capacity, they have a right to be in the room along with their male colleagues,’’ she said.

She urged the media to lead the campaign in changing the narrative.

Representative of the Embassy of Netherlands, Mr Ayinde Soule-Kohndou, said that the media was the tool that mirrored the society, and commended the WSCIJ and pledged the Netherland’s continued support.

Mrs Nneka Okekearu, Deputy Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Pan-Atlantic University, said the mentorship had reawakened the mindset of the fellows to impact the society positively.

“Be the catalyst that you have been,” she said.

Other stakeholders took turns to highlight areas women were marginalised and commended the fellows for going out to get the extra ordinary stories and commended the WSCIJ for the feat.

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