The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) rewards, promotes and encourages best practices in journalism works 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.
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.
Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting Categories
- Editorial cartoon
Print – Newspaper and Magazine
- 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
Broadcast radio and television
- Provide media organisation’s weblink of entry where available. When absent, 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 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.
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. Entrants are 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.
- Provide URL (web link) for the published work.
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.
Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting Eligibility
- 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.
Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting Criteria
- The main criterion for eligibility is that the 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.
- The story should reflect a high quality of investigation in terms of newsworthiness, capacity to expose or prevent clandestine activities, corruption in the public domain, an understanding of human rights implications enhanced by the quality of delivery/presentation/writing. Such works should have been first published or broadcast in a Nigerian media between 4 October 2020 and 3 October 2021.
- 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 commits you to grant WSCIJ a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free licence to use your works for any purpose deemed appropriate for the development of the award initiative, the WSCIJ and the Nigerian and global media.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- All entries are coded to disguise media house and reporter’s by-line using the WSCIJ entry coding system before dispatch to judges
- Judges’ board members can only assess, score or vote on works to which they have no organisational or family ties.
- Entries detected to have plagiarised content 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 eligibility and judging process uphold the integrity and reputation of the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting 2021 competition. 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 (Soyinka Laureates (winners), 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.
How to Submit Entries for Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting
Interested candidates who meet the criteria listed above should apply by clicking on the “Apply” button below:
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)
Deadline for Submission of Entries: 4PM Sunday 24 October 2021
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: +234-908-251-5179