Hannah Ojo, a reporter with The Nation, has won the 2018 Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) media award at a dinner held at Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja.
For being the overall winner, Hannah Ojo was presented with a plaque, ₦200,000 and a ₦50,000 gift voucher from Vita Foam, sponsors of the awards.
Ojo’s submission for the award was a report titled “This is Lagos, city of aquatic splendor, dry taps” and a two-part series titled “Poison on Parade; Lagosians risk death by instalments as laboratory tests reveal poisonous contents paraded as pure water”.
The entries were praised by the jury for the extensive fieldwork, consultation with experts and provision of hardcore evidence since samples of sachet water were subjected to laboratory tests at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Lab. The stories were made possible through a grant from Code for Africa, a non-profit organisation reputed as the continent’s largest federation of data journalism and civic technology hubs.
Jesusegun Alagbe of The Punch was runner-up in the same category as well as ICIR’s Amos Abah.
No prize was awarded for the online and broadcast categories owing to lack of quality entries.
Hannah Ojo, who was among 15 young journalists selected from around the world by the United Nations Department of Public Information, covered the just concluded 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York for three weeks as a Reham Al Farra Fellow.
She is a recipient of the 2017 Newscorp Fellowship hosted by The Times of London and The Wall Street Journal and is an alumnus of the U.S. Department of State Foreign Press Centers reporting tour on human trafficking. She won the Most Innovative Reporter Award at the Nigerian Media Merit Award in 2016 and was a nominee in the Agriculture and Reporter of the Year categories last year.
Speaking on the criteria of the 2018 Nigerian Academy Of Science award sponsored by Vitafoam Nigeria PLC, Professor Sunday Atawodi, the Public Affairs Secretary of NAS, affirmed that journalists who want to participate in the award would not only need to demonstrate the capacity for science reporting but also show volumes of science reporting that will impact the society within the year.
Endowed by the Nigerian Academy of Science, the NAS Science Media Awards, which is in its eighth year, seek to promote excellence in science-related stories. Instituted by the Academy as part of her goal to improve science reporting, the award is open to all print and broadcast journalists who published science or science related stories in the previous year.
NAS President Professor Mosto Onuoha stated:
“We have been trying over the years to identify journalists that have taken interest in reporting science to Nigerians and trying to promote their work and reward them for diligence. What we may be giving may not be so much but we recognize the important roles they are playing.”
Mrs Eugenia Abu, The Creative Director, Essential Communications & Managing Partner, The Eugenia Abu Media (TEAM), was the key note speaker for the night. Speaking on the topic “The nexus between Science and Media: Gaps and Opportunities”, she made a case for scientists to relate better with the media to ensure they have access to information.