Thursday, 25 April 2013

Punch Editor wins 'Nigerian Academy of Science' Award


Nigeria’s most widely read newspaper, Punch, again affirmed its dominance of the country’s media landscape on Thursday winning the country’s most prestigious science media award.

The acting Editor of Sunday Punch, Miss Toyosi Ogunseye, was adjudged Science Journalist of the Year (2012) at the prestigious Nigeria Academy of Science Award, which held at the University of Lagos.

Punch’s entry for the prize, which is the sole media prize awarded by the country’s foremost scientists, was described as an example of “outstanding journalism.”
The panel of judges chaired by Prof. Gabriel Adewoye cited Ogunseye for her “outstanding contribution to the knowledge of science through the print media.”

According to Adewoye, Ogunseye’s three-part series story:  ‘The rich also cry’ is an example of “excellent investigative journalism.”

Adewoye  said, “The winning entry was the clear winner of this year’s award. All the judges agreed that Ogunseye showed depth, clarity and an understanding of the issues highlighted in the story. It was investigative journalism as its best.

“Apart from saving lives, she also championed a policy change as the factory that was polluting the environment, was shut down.”

A member of the panel of judges, Prof. Sogo Sofola, also said Ogunseye won because she displayed “outstanding journalism.”

Part one of the series, ‘The rich also cry: A tale of deaths and diseases in a heavily polluted upscale estate’, focussed on the concerns of the residents of a heavily polluted upper-middle class estate in Lagos. The second part: ‘The rich also cry: Killer metals in the blood’ detailed the results of blood and urine tests conducted on the residents, which confirmed the presence of killer doses of metals in their bodies.

PUNCH paid for the tests which were conducted at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Lagos. The concluding part of the series: ‘The rich also cry:  When investment is a curse’, explained the interplay of environmental and economic forces responsible for the pollution.

The past President of the academy, Prof. Ibidapo Obe, praised Ogunseye’s work. According to Obe, the winning entry is an example of how science journalism should be conducted.

Obe said, “The reportage of science issues should continue to be encouraged in our society. Stories like those of Ogunseye are needed for our society to grow and develop.”

Also speaking at the event, the Director-General of the Centre for Black and African Art and Civilisation, Prof. Tunde Babawale, said no nation could develop to its optimum if it ignored science.

Ogunseye, who has BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Lagos and a MSc in Media and Communication from the School of Media and Communication, Pan-African University, is a recipient of 13 other awards.

She went home with a plague, cash price and a laptop.

Culled from PUNCH

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