Tobore Ovuorie has won the Deutsche Welle (DW) Freedom of Speech Award 2021 for her undercover investigative report on criminal syndicates involved in prostitution, human traffickers and organ trading in Nigeria.
The award according to the organisers honours journalists’ outstanding commitment to human rights and particularly, freedom of expression in the media.
“The Freedom of Speech award highlights the importance of transparency in our work, and it shows the importance of courage in our society. I think the award will help Tobore Ovuorie in her work and hopefully also for her security.
Our prize is meant to underline how important investigative journalism is. We want to award Tobore Ovuorie for her important investigative work and also to strengthen journalism in Africa. It’s very important to recognize the authoritative role of women in journalism.”
Receiving the award, Tobore Ovuorie said:
“I am so honoured that my work has been recognized in this way by DW. It means so much to me that the work I am so committed to giving a voice to women without a voice and speaks to others as well.
“I hope that this recognition of my work can serve as an inspiration for girls and women to be more, especially to follow the path of research in journalism.”
Past winners of the annual Freedom of Speech Award since 2015 are the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who is still imprisoned today, Sedat Ergin, former editor-in-chief of the Turkish daily Hürriyet, 2016 and in 2017, the award went to the US-based White House Correspondents’ Association.
In 2018, it was won by Iranian political scientist Sadegh Zibakalam, Mexican investigative journalist Anabel Hernández was honoured in 2019, and in 2020 the prize was awarded to 17 journalists from 14 countries, representing media professionals worldwide who have disappeared, been arrested or threatened as a result of their reporting on the Corona crisis.
DW is a German public state-owned international broadcaster funded by the German federal tax budget. The service is available in 30 languages. DW’s satellite television service consists of channels in English, German, Urdu, Hindi, Spanish, and Arabic.