Olufisayo Babatunde Soyombo Emerges Merit Award Winner Of 2019 Karpoor Chandra Kulish International Award For Excellence In Journalism

Recently updated on October 24th, 2022 at 02:13 pm

Olufisayo Babatunde Soyombo has emerged merit award winner of the 2019 Karpoor Chandra Kulish International Award for Excellence in Journalism.

Olufisayo Babatunde Soyombo known professionally as Fisayo Soyombo is the Founder/Editor of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ).

According to an announcement by the organisers, Olufisayo Babatunde Soyombo was listed among seven merit award recipients for his 2019 undercover investigation on Nigeria’s criminal justice system funded by TheCable and the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), for which he got himself detained at a police cell for five days before spending another eight in prison after he had been arraigned in court.

Joining him on the list are Indian journalists Umesh Chandra Shukla, Ashok Kumar, Somesh Jha, Shashi Shekhar and K.S. Sudhi, as well as Emirati journalist Mazhar Farooqui.

The award was won by ‘China Cables’, a series of in-depth investigative reports by 75 journalists from 14 countries, including the US, Ireland, United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, France, Israel and Australia, who worked undercover to expose China’s brutality against the Uyghur Muslim families.

The organisers also announced the winner of the 2018 edition of the award — Abhishek Gautam from Navbharat Times (Lucknow, India) — and 10 merit award winners.

Set up in 2007 in the memory of Karpoor Chandra Kulish, who founded Indian newspaper Rajasthan Patrika in 1956, the KC Kulish Award “recognizes the outstanding work of journalists” based on “teamwork, ground-level investigation and impact”.


1. Name Umesh Chandra Shukla
Story Jyoti Barber: A Girl Dressed As a Boy, Runs a Saloon For Men
Newspaper/magazine Dainik Jagran, Agra
Country India
2. Name Olufisayo Babatunde Soyombo
Story Undercover Investigation on Nigeria’s Criminal Justice System
Newspaper/magazine The Cable, Lagos
Country Nigeria
3. Name Ashok Kumar
Story From wells to ‘kundas’, a steep switch for Haryana villages
Newspaper/magazine The Hindu, Gurugram, Haryana
Country India
4. Name Somesh Jha
Story Politics of data in India
Newspaper/magazine Business Standard, New Delhi
Country India
5. Name Shashi Shekhar
Story Gramino Ne Shramdaan Kar Banaya Paani Bank
Newspaper/magazine Dainik Jagran, Jamshedpur
Country India
6. Name K.S. Sudhi
Story A lake at the cross hairs of development & 25 other stories
Newspaper/magazine The Hindu, Kochi, Kerala
Country India
7. Name Mazhar Farooqui
Story Gulf News uncovers Global Job Racket
Newspaper/magazine Gulf News, Sharjah
Country United Arab Emirates


The latest international honour for Soyombo comes less than three weeks after he made the three-man shortlist for the 2021 edition of One World Media’s International Journalist of the Year award to be decided next month, alongside Drew Ambrose of Al Jazeera English and Suadad al-Salhy of Middle East Eye, from an initial 10-man longlist announced in April.

It was the second time in a row that Soyombo had made the OWM shortlist, having been long-listed for the award in 2020 before going on to earn a place on the three-man shortlist. The 2020 award eventually went to BBC’s John Sudworth.

His place on the 2021 shortlist was for ‘Portraits of Blood’, his three-part series on the massacre of #EndSARS protesters by Nigerian soldiers on October 20, 2020.

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