Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) celebrated student journalists across Nigeria at a campus journalism award ceremony.
The awards were named in honour of the late Alfred Opubor for his pioneering contributions to journalism in Nigeria.
Professor Opubor was the first Nigerian professor who served at the Department of Mass Communication at the University Of Lagos (UNILAG).
Seven categories of the best student journalists awards were given: Best Opinion Piece; Best Community Journalism Story; Best Investigative Story; Most Prolific Writer; Most Active Campus; Best Female Campus Reporter; and Best Male Campus reporter.
Adejumo Kabir, a 300 level student of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) who won three awards expressed his gratitude to PTCIJ for the honour at the event and for the opportunity to be trained under the campus reporters’ framework. Mr. Adejumo won the awards for the best investigative story, “Nigerian University website hacked”, most prolific campus reporter and best male campus journalist.
He said the award will encourage him to write without fear or favour for the promotion of the welfare of students and the community at large.
The best opinion piece award was given to Adekunle Adebajo of University of Ibadan for the story ”Nigerian Tertiary Institutions: An Endangered Species Under the 2018 budget” while the best community journalism story award was won by Chiamaka Okafor from the Nnamdi Azikwe University for the story, “UNIZIK community laments 21- Day power outage.”
Ms. Chiamaka Okafor also won the best female campus reporter award.
According to the Publisher of PREMIUM TIMES, Dapo Olorunyomi:
“We realise that there were clashes between the teachings in the classrooms and what is happening in the newsroom. There was lack of resources to the job and for you to be able to do journalism, you need resources.
I particularly commend the Editor-In-Chief, Musikilu Mojeed, for his commitment to the job and his belief in revolutionalising journalism.”
In the words of the general manager, Capital FM, Mercy Njoku:
“Young minds need to understand the term ‘responsible journalism’ because some journalists practice irresponsible journalism.
When journalists are diligent, hardworking and creative, they will go places. In whatever you do, you are setting up your testimonials.”
The judges included Fisayo Soyombo; Mahmud Jega of Daily Trust; Motunrayo Alaka of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism; Chido Onumah of the Africa Centre for Media and Information Literacy and Lanre Arogundade of the International Press Centre.
Akin Akinbulu, the Executive Director, Institute of Media and Society and Lekan Otufodunrin, editor of the Nation Newspaper, received special recognition awards for their contributions to journalism in Nigeria.