Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting

By October 20, 2022 No Comments

For this award, judges will be looking for ethical reporting, courage, individual creativity and public benefit.

The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) rewards, promotes and encourages best practices in reporting from the print, radio, television, photo, online, editorial cartoon broad categories as well as from other special categories which focus on themes ranging from regulatory failures, corruption in the public and corporate spheres, and human rights abuses in the country.

About the Award
The Award was instituted and first held in October 2005 to aid the development of an investigative reporting culture in the Nigerian media. In naming the award after Wole Soyinka, the initiators hoped to bring further attention to Soyinka’s untiring and relentless support for the cause of freedom of expression.

Annually, nominations open in October and close in November for the award presentation ceremony usually held on 9 December – the World Anti-corruption Day

Who can Apply?

The award is open to any Nigerian professional reporter or team of reporters (fulltime or freelancers), 18-years and above, who have published stories either online, in print, or through electronic media, primarily targeted at and received by a Nigerian audience.

What do I need to Apply?

– Your work (single work or single-subject serial) must involve reporting on public, and or corporate corruption, human rights violation, or on the failure of regulatory agencies.
– Your story should reflect a high quality of investigation in terms of newsworthiness, capacity to expose or prevent clandestine activities, corruption in the public domain. It should also reflect an understanding of human rights implications enhanced by the quality of presentation.
– Your works should have been first published or broadcast in a Nigerian media between 4th October 2021 and 3rd October 2022.

An applicant may only submit a maximum of two entries. Please submit your applications through the application online portal here

What Categories are available?

  • Print
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Photography
  • Online
  • Editorial cartoon


How should I apply?

For the Print – Newspaper and magazine category

– Scan and upload a clean and clear original print copy of the story entry in PDF format through the online application portal.

– Provide the e-paper of relevant pages of published work(s) where available.

– URL (web link) for the published work is not acceptable for this category.

– Every entry under this category (single or series) must not exceed 5000 words.

For Broadcast radio and television Category

– Provide media organisation’s weblink of entry where available. You can also upload the entry on SoundCloud for radio or YouTube for television and provide the weblink.

– Ensure the submitted entries have a “cue in” and “cue out” which are linked to the person making the main presentation on the media to prove that what is submitted was done in the media house it claimed to be.

– Include a proof of the date and time of publication as documented in the day’s bulletin of the media house for the audio and video uploaded for all radio and television submissions respectively.

For the Photo Category

– In addition to the broad criteria, photo entries will be scored on creativity, impact and technical quality.

– Upload the original photo in the section required on the portal.

– For photos published in print, include a clean and clear scanned PDF copy of the full page of the published work showing the date of publication.

– Entrantsare also encouraged to provide the electronic paper copy (e-copy) page(s) for the published work(s) where available.

– For photos from media news organisations that publish online, the URL (web link) for the published work must be provided.

For the Online Category

Provide URL (web link) for the published work or reports aired online (For web based Television and Radio).

For Editorial Cartooning

– In addition to the broad criteria, editorial cartooning will also be scored on impact, creativity and originality.

– For cartoons published in print, provide a clean and clear scanned PDF copy of the full page where the published work appeared with date.

– Upload electronic copy (e-copy) page(s) for the published work(s) where available.

– For cartoons published online, the URL (web link) for the published work must be provided.

Important to Note

– Due to the volume of entries, only reporters shortlisted as finalists will be contacted and announced after selection by the Judges’ Board.

– The reporter with the most outstanding work(s) amongst the finalists will be selected as the WSCIJ-Nigerian Investigative Reporter of the year.

– Only a maximum of two entries across all categories of the award will be allowed per entrant.

– All submitted works must be in English Language. Where the entry is in a Nigerian language a transcript must be provided in English language.

– Entering for this competition means you grant WSCIJ a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free licence to use your works. It can be used in line with any purpose deemed appropriate for the development of the award initiative, the WSCIJ and the Nigerian and global media.

What are the benefits?

– The award win includes a cash prize, an award plaque, a certificate of commendation, a computer backup hard drive and an international study tour.

– Apart from the investigative reporting category, the award also has two honorary awards— the Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence and the Anti-corruption Defender Award, to honour the great past of the media profession, and to recognise individuals or organisations for their noteworthy stance against corruption respectively.

Who Can NOT Apply?
– To enhance the development of media in the country, reporters that have been winners in this competition on at least three occasions are ineligible to enter.

– Employees of the WSCIJ and/or their immediate families are ineligible to participate in the competition.

Will the selection be fair?

WSCIJ guarantees that there is no connection between any sponsor and the judging process.

The competition shall be covered and interpreted with the laws of Nigeria.

What else should I Submit?

The submitted entries should include:

A brief synopsis of the story/series (maximum 400 words), picture, or portfolio.

In the synopsis, the applicant is expected to:

– Explain the background of the project, identifying the issues and key players.

– Describe what led to the topic or caption, any unusual condition faced in developing the project and whether the investigation had any ramifications.

– Describe challenges to the content of the story/series that were not reported in the original work.

– Include up-to-date Curriculum Vitae for every reporter who bears the by-line of the story with passport photograph(s).

– Include any relevant background information on submitted work(s).

What’s the judging process like?

A distinguished judges’ board, which comprises respected persons with suitable knowledge, competencies and experience in news media practice, investigative reporting and ethics shall adjudge the competition.

Every entry is coded to conceal media houses and reporter’s by-lines using the WSCIJ entry coding system before dispatch to judges.

Members of the judges’ board can only assess, score or vote on works to which they have no organisational or family ties.

All entries will undergo plagiarism test. Entries which fail the test will be disqualified.

Due to WSCIJ’s commitment to excellence, it will be in order to have categories without a finalist if the entries in such a category are adjudged to have fallen below expected standard

The rigorous judging process uphold the integrity and reputation of the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting 2022. The judges reserve the right to disqualify any piece of work and/or finalist if, in the judges’ opinion, there exists reasonable doubt about the authenticity and/or accuracy of the submitted entry and/or the integrity of the finalists based on the set criteria.

WSCIJ award recipients/winners (Soyinka Laureates, runners-up and commended works) are expected to be persons with high ethical and professional standards. The organisation reserves the right to withdraw awards at any point in time based on the misconduct of an award recipient.

Deadline for Submission of Entries: 4pm Monday 24 October 2022

For more enquires

Email: wscij@wscij.org | Phone: +234-908-251-5179

Apply here

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