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One journalist, too many awards, whose fault ?

One journalist, too many awards, whose fault ?
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By Lekan Otufodunrin
Each time I get a mail from him, I can’t but notice the  long list of some of the media awards he has won under his name.
If it was one or two, one  could miss it,  but not when it is ten, in various categories over the years.
Take a look at the list of the top rate awards I am referring to :
  • Writer of the year,Nigerian Writers Award 2017
  • NMMA Arts and Culture Reporter 2016, Nigerian Writers Award
  • Feature Writer of the year Promasidor Quill CSR reporter of the Year 2015
  • DAME, Development Reporter of the Year 2014
  • NMMA Environment Reporter of the Year 2014
  • NMMA Investigative Reporter of the Year 2014
  • Winner ICFJ/Hala Nigeria Story Contest,
  • Winner, Wash Media Award 2014 (Sweden)
  • Nigerian Breweries Golden Pen Reporter of the year 2014
  • Wole Soyinka Investigative Journalist of the year (Print) 2012
  • Runner Up, NMMA Features Writer of the Year 2002,
  • Runner Up, NMMA Sports Writer of the Year 2002.
Knowing the quality of stories he writes and the passion he brings to his assignments, the awards are undoubtedly well deserved and makes him one of the very outstanding  journalists in the country. 
There are others journalists like him who seem to have monopolised  winning most of the national and international media awards for Nigerian journalists. 
At an editors meeting, a decision was taken that the journalist, who I would rather not mention his name, before resigning his appointment from the media house  he used to work,  and a  few others should be disqualified from submitting entries for the company’s Reporter of the Month if they win three editions in a year. 
Some of the editors were worried that only a few of the staff were winning the N100,000 cash prize for the monthly award and there was need to challenge other reporters to have good stories for consideration.
As long as the Assistant editor and his co-serial award-winning colleagues apply for the award, chances are that they will win and deny others the opportunity of winning.
Are the award winners being penalised for having excellent entries and monopolising the award? Not exactly. The goal is to widen the circle of award-winning journalists in the company.
Declan Okpalaeke, Nigeria’s first overall winner of the CNN African Journalist of the Year Award was not eligible to enter for the award after winning  in the Health,  Environment and Sports categories, for three years in a row in accordance with the guideline for the competition.
What about Toyosi Ogunseye? first female editor in The Punch who within ten years of practice has won virtually all major national and international awards in the industry. 
Of particular note was her feat of winning nine awards with one story.! 
This piece is meant to challenge other journalists to produce award-winning content for whichever platform they work for and submit entries when call for application is invited. 
Kudos to the serial winners for being the excellent journalists you all are. You are all role models for others to emulate. Hopefully others will take up my challenge. If they don’t, keep winning unless when the guidelines prevents you from submitting entries.
Like I have always noted,  a journalist does not have to win awards to be a good journalist, but the awards give winners a lot of advantages over their contemporaries and even senior colleagues in when choices have to be made on who gets appointments,  fellowships and many other opportunities.
NB: If you want to know the  serial award-winning Assistant Editor refereed to in this piece, send a mail to, follow him on Twitter @seunakioye and ask him how he won all the awards listed above.
Keep checking for announcements of media awards and follow us on @mediacareerngr

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