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Renowned Nigerian investigative journalist, Fisayo Soyombo, has expressed happiness after being shortlisted in the International Journalist of the Year category for the One World Media (OWM) Awards 2020. Soyombo’s undercover investigation on Nigeria’s criminal justice system saw him make the list as the only African among ten journalists for the prestigious award.

The rot in the Nigerian justice system was highlighted by Soyombo in a three-part series, an investigation which saw him spend two weeks in detention, (five days in a police cell, and an inmate in Ikoyi Prison for eight days). Adopting a fictitious name, Ojo Olajumoke, Soyombo was arrested for an offence feigned by him, detained in police custody, arraigned in court, and remanded in prison.

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One World Media Awards are aimed at campaigners and journalists who embark on awareness campaigns for development-related issues. Recognition of excellence in media coverage by journalists and film makers especially in developing countries and its role in the social and cultural life of the globe also form the core of the OWM awards which comprise 15 categories:

  • Children in Conflict Reporting Award
  • Digital Media Award
  • Environmental Impact Award
  • Feature Documentary Award
  • International Journalist of the Year Award
  • News Award
  • New Voice Award
  • Popular Features Award
  • Print Award
  • Radio and Audio Award
  • Refugee Reporting Award
  • Short Film Award
  • Special Award
  • Student Award
  • Television Documentary Award

Popularly tagged the ‘’Oscars of factual broadcasting,’’ the OWM awards is the dream of every journalist and media personality around the world especially as it aims at bridging cultural divide around the world. With entries from over 60 countries in the world, OWM has stated that the top three nominees for each category will be announced later this month (April 2020), while winners for each category will be announced by June 2020.

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In a tweet, Soyombo expressed his delight at being shortlisted with the following words

Happy to announce that I am the only African of 10 journalists worldwide to make the longlist for One World Media Award’s International Journalist of the Year 2020

Fisayo Soyombo

A multiple award winning Nigerian journalist, Soyombo is popular for his outstanding works mostly aimed at exposing corruption and other ills in the society. It will be recalled that Soyombo recently emerged as co-winner for the People Journalism Prize (PJPA) for Africa 2019 for same undercover report which exposed corrupt practices affecting the Nigerian judicial system. He has also emerged winner for other prestigious awards for his exploits in the world of investigative journalism- they include winning the Newcomer of the Year award at the 2016 Free Press Awards, Investigative Journalist of the Year at the Wole Soyinka Awards for Investigative Reporting, and the Zimeo Excellence in Journalism Awards.

Fisayo Soyombo would have to battle the likes of John Sudworth (BBC News), Bel Trew (Independent), Alex Crawford (Sky News), Namak Khoshnaw (BBC Arabic), Drew Ambrose and Mehdi Hasan (Al Jazeera English), Rina Chandran (Thomson Reuters Foundation), Hind Hassan and Isobel Yeung (Vice News), to emerge winner of the award.


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One World Media

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This article was first published on 7th April 2020 and updated on April 10th, 2020 at 3:27 pm


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