The Guardian, others emerge winners of IOM’s best migration reports
Twelve winners have emerged from the International Organization for Migration, (IOM), Nigeria’s competition on quality reporting of migration issues with The Guardian’s reporter, Gbenga Salau, emerging first place winner of the award, print category.
The award for the best migration report comes with a cash reward and a plague while the second and third places in the same category were won by Alfred Olufemi of Punch newspaper and Innocent Duru of The Nation newspaper with cash rewards of respectively.
At a ceremony held in Abuja yesterday, Yusuf Akinpelu of BBC Africa won the first prize in the online category, followed by Alexander Okere, Punch and Tunde Omolehin of AsheNews.
Zainab Oyiza Sanni of Agidigbo FM received the first prize for the radio category, followed by Martha Okere of 92.3 Nigeria Info FM while the third place went to Chinedu Ekeja KU FM
The Television category on the other hand saw Mojisola Matanmi of TV360 Nigeria, Sam Olukoya of Inter Press Service, and Funmi Unuajefe of Plus TV Africa, winning the three prizes accordingly.
Acting Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, Prestage Murima, said the media have an influential role in shaping public opinion about migration as Nigeria continues to be a country of origin, transit, and destination of migrants.
She said even though fake news, misinformation and stigmatisation have been witnessed before and during the pandemic, the role of evidence-based journalism is very essential to counter the negatives.
“The relevance of media in all aspects of human endeavour cannot be overemphasized more so in the area of better migration management.
Media engagement is imperative given the pressing need to promote safe and regular migration as well as discourage irregular migration.”
The IOM launched the competition in several West and Central African countries to mark the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons to highlight the importance of quality reporting in tackling the menace of trafficking, encourage and reward journalists who tells the stories of migrants as well as education the public on critical issues, both good and bad, associated with migration.
For Nigeria, 56 entries on irregular migration, return and reintegration of migrants were received in a process that began in April building up to the award.
Cash prizes totalling $6, 000 were given the contestants by the organizer, IOM.
In addition to the certificates, 12 cash prizes amounting to USD 6,000 were awarded to the winners.