A Nigerian journalist has once more claimed the top prize at the annual African Fact-Checking Awards that received the highest number of entries in its history.
The awards, now in their seventh year, received a record number of 192 entries from journalists in 27 countries across the continent. Winners were announced at a virtual ceremony on October 22.
Taiwo Adebulu from Nigeria took first place in the working journalist category while Senegalese Marième Fatou Dramé came first in the student journalist category for their fact-check reports.
Aisha Abdool Karim from South Africa was the runner up in the working journalist category while Oluwaseye Ogunsanya was the runner up in the student category.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, people have been inundated with information about the coronavirus. However, not all of it has been true. Noko Makgato the executive director at Africa Check said journalists should refrain from being “conduits of misinformation”.
“With health-related decisions sometimes being a matter of life or death, good fact-checking journalism is vital – now more than ever,” Makgato said in an Africa Check statement.
For his winning piece, Adebulu investigated Nigeria’s ministry of environment’s claim to the UN that local universities solely rely on renewable energy for power.
He said the majority of Nigerian universities are battling with poor energy access.
“I discovered the minister had grossly misinformed the United Nations. My story exposed the minister’s falsehood and exposed poor implementation of the renewable energy programme,” he said.
Dramé’s article focused on three claims made by a feminist organisation on the management of feminine hygiene for Senegalese women.
“After the publication of my report, Many people became aware of the gap between the figures out forward and reality,” she said.
Adebulu and Dramé won $3 000 and $2 000 respectively.
Find out more about the awards here