Nigeria outshines Kenya at African fact-checking awards

Two Kenyan data journalists miss out on prestigious prize

The African fact-checking crown that belonged to the Daily Nation Newsplex team in 2017 has been passed on to Nigeria.

Chikezie Ombeje of the International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) Nigeria clinched the 2018 African fact-checking award. He was awarded at a ceremony on October 30 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Mr. Ombeje won for a piece that concluded that media reports about the dsrastic decline in pre-school enrollment in Nigeria were inaccurate as the data used was unreliable.

Jason Norwood-Young of South Africa’s Daily Maverick finished second. Also on the shortlist were two Kenyan data journalists, Dorothy Otieno of the Daily Nation and Soila Kenya of PesaCheck.

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The awards organised by Africa Check also saw Moussa Ngom of Senegal clinch the award in the student journalist category. His piece fact-checked the claim that Dakar was the second most polluted city in the world.

READ : KENYAN JOURNO CLINCHES ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING AWARD

According to Mr. Ngom, whereas standards of pollution in Senegal’s capital city are high, there are other mega cities in the world with higher rates of pollution.

Runner-up in the student journalist category was Ibraheem Alawode of Nigeria.

A six person jury picked the winners from a total of 16 finalists. The panel of judges was chaired by Prof. Franz Kruger, a professor of journalism at Wits University, South Africa and included Citizen TV’s Yvonne Okwara.

According to the Africa Check website, “the jury decided not to award the ‘best body of work’ category, due to an insufficient number of entries for this category and the unsatisfactory standard of those entries.”

Founder of Africa Check Peter Cunliff-Jones said, “Since we launched these awards in Nairobi in 2014 – more than 500 journalists in more than 25 countries have entered – a sign of how many journalists are taking up the fight against misinformation that causes harm.”

The Fact of the Year as voted by online audiences was that “90.8% of Nigerians do not have safe drinking water.”

SEE ALSO : FACT-CHECKING: A NEW HOPE IN FAKE NEWS LAND

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