11 June 2018

Nigeria: PTCIJ to Honour Outstanding Nigerian Campus Journalists

Outstanding student journalists from across Nigerian universities are to be honoured in Abuja.

The award ceremony is being organised by the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ).

In a statement, the organisers said the ceremony will be held on June 28.

"This signifies the end of the pilot phase of PTCIJ's NextGen program; a program created to help nurture and facilitate the emergence of a well equipped and empowered generation of journalists capable of leading the media to new heights across the country," the organisers said.

Read full statement below.

The Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) will host an award ceremony to celebrate and reward outstanding campus journalists across the country. These young journalists who have been active participants of the Centre's Next Gen Programme, will come together to be celebrated and inspired on the 28th of June, 2018.

This ceremony has been named after the late Alfred Opubor in honour of his pioneering contributions to the profession of journalism. It will hold in Abuja. This signifies the end of the pilot phase of PTCIJ's NextGen program; a program created to help nurture and facilitate the emergence of a well equipped and empowered generation of journalists capable of leading the media to new heights across the country.

The programme was actively supported by the Ford foundation and executed in partnership with the National Union of Campus Journalists.

The participants of the programme were selected from tertiary institutions across the various geo-political zones across the country except the North-east. These young journalists were taught investigative and data journalism skills, safety tips to help ensure their physical, digital and psycho-social security, as well as new business models as they venture into this noble profession.

After the broad training programme, the PTCIJ created a platform to offer the trainees the opportunity to practise and showcase their skills under the guidance of designated mentors. This led to the creation of the Campus Reporter website (www.campusreporter.ng) which now serves as the platform from which the trainees have thus far executed great and impactful stories.

Speaking on the programme, the Executive Director, PTCIJ, Dapo Olorunyomi reflects: "as a crucible for the development of future journalists, the campus reporting programme has shown a tangible promise and wonderful success. It is evidence also that, given the right tools, our younger generation can create a worthy revolution in the wider media industry. Truly, this is great tribute to the power of collaboration and substantiation that when youth power, professional support, impactful mentorship, and visionary donor partnership come together, a mighty dream can be transformed into a vivid, living, reality of change."

Mr. Olorunyomi said the next phase of the PTCIJ Next Gen Programme will commence in July and is planned to cover about 30 campuses.

Awards will be given out for the following categories:

Best Investigative Story

Best Community Journalism Story

Best Opinion Article

Most Prolific Campus Reporter

Most Active Campus

Best Campus Journalist (Male and Female)

The selection process for this award categories is being carried out in three phases. These involve the Pre-qualification(shortlisting) phase, the Scoring Phase and the Compilation Phase.

The pre-qualification phase entails the perusal of all stories submitted to the Campus Reporter Platform from inception to the 31st of March, 2018 to select fice stories to compete for the 3 article-based categories. These are: The Best Investigative Story, The Best Community Journalism Story, The Best Opinion Piece.

The Scoring phase entails the further evaluation of these five stories by a panel of Judges who score them based on their expertise and according to a predefined criteria.

The Compilation Phase entails the compilation of the results from the Scoring phase to select the winner of the three categories by the Chair of the Judging process. Furthermore, the other categories which include The Most Active Campus and the Best Campus Journalist (Male and Female) will be derivatives of the finalists performances across the other three categories. And finally, the platform administrator will announce the Most Prolific Campus Journalist based on the volume of work put in.

Brief on Alfred Esimatemi Opubor

Born on March 28 1937, Alfred Esimatemi Opubor was the first Nigerian Professor of the Department of Mass Communication at the University of Lagos (UNILAG). He worked as the pioneer Chairman at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). He also served at various times and on a plethora of assignments for various United Nations organs, the World Bank, World Health Organisation, African Union, Panos Institute and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa, and the West African News Agency Development programme, to mention a few. One of his most outstanding contributions was his 2009 design of the institutional communication strategy for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) titled, "From a Community of States to a Community of People." Professor Opubor died on December 2nd 2011 at the age of 74.

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