By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Three finalists have emerged in the 2020 Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) Journalist of the Year Award Competition.
A statement signed by AMDF Executive Director, Iliya Kure, said that they are: Babatunde Okunola of Royal FM Ilorin (Nigeria), Gabriel Ogunjobi of The Nation Newspapers (Nigeria), and Shola Ojo of The Sun Newspapers (Nigeria).
Announcing the finalists, Chairman of the Panel of Judges, Mr. Joseph Edegbo said, this year, the panel received 24 entries from six (6) African countries, namely, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda.
He said the panel had taken time to scrutinise all the entries to arrive at the three best entries.
“It was tasking, but the panellists professionally did their jobs and have come out with the best. On the whole, we took into considerations some key areas like the story idea, the headline that talks on the story itself, the news value, presentation of the story, grammar, investigation, research, data to back up the story, especially the ones that need data.
“Of course, there are some that need actuality, that is, audio, or picture to go with the story, and most importantly the effect of the story, or the change it brought to the area.”
Speaking on quality of the entries, Mr. Edegbo said, “this year’s entries are not far from what obtained last year, though the scope this year is wider, as we received stories from many African countries.
He said, in subsequent editions, the panel expects to see more entries from working journalists across Africa, stressing that, “those working in the print media should support their stories with pictorial evidence. Investigative stories must come along with pictures and research, to back up their stories, especially at this digital age.”
The award ceremony will hold online on 3rd December, 2020 during the 4th Africa Conference on Development Journalism (#ACDJ2020), where the winner, runner-up and commended work will be announced.
During the programme, an Honorary Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence will be presented to distinguish media veteran – Mrs. Miriam Menkiti, former Deputy Director News, FRCN/General Manager, Radio Nigeria Purity FM Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria for her immense contribution to development of Journalism in Nigeria.
AMDF Journalist of the Year Award was first introduced in 2016 to promote the culture of in-depth development journalism in the African media space.
AMDF is a Media Development Organisation that provides professional support to media and development initiatives. More about AMDF can be found on its website https://amdf-centre.org