Taiwo Adebulu, a Nigerian journalist, has won the 2020 African fact-checking awards.
His story, “FACT CHECK: Nigeria told UN that 7 varsities run strictly on renewable energy, but is this true?” was rated as the best among 192 entries from 27 countries across the continent.
Adebulu, a reporter with TheCable, an online newspaper, had investigated how Nigeria’s minister of environment had grossly misinformed the United Nations at its Climate Action Summit in 2019 .
In a ceremony that held on Thursday as part of the virtual African Investigative Journalism Conference, Africa Check, organisers of the competition, said the impressive entries submitted for the 2020 awards show the growing and vibrant practice of fact-checking on the continent.
“In what has been a year like no other, we’ve received the highest number of entries in the history of the African Fact-Checking Awards: 192 entries from 27 countries across Africa,” the organisers said.
“We’ve gone from strength to strength since our inaugural awards in 2014, when we had about 40 entries from 10 countries. This growth can only be a wonderful advertisement for the growing & vibrant practice of fact-checking on the continent.”
Speaking on the award, Noko Makgato, executive director at Africa Check, said the competition will strengthen the quality of public debate and, hopefully, improve the quality of life across the continent.
“With health-related decisions sometimes being a matter of life or death, good fact-checking journalism is vital – now more than ever,” Makgato said.
“The quality of information disseminated in public can determine the life outcomes of many and so it is the responsibility of the media to refrain from being conduits of misinformation.”
Adebulu, who holds a master’s degree in communication arts from the University of Ibadan, is also a recipient of the 2020 BudgIT/Civic Hive media fellowship.
In Adebulu’s category, Aisha Abdool Karim emerged runner up with the entry, “The coronavirus ‘vaccine’ Ekurhuleni wants to import doesn’t exist.”
In the student category, Marième Fatou Dramé won with the entry “Une organisation féministe publie des informations trompeuses sur les jeunes filles sénégalaises ( absentéisme scolaire, gestion des règles)” Drame’s work in English translates to “Feminist organization publishes misleading information about Senegalese girls (school absenteeism, rule management.”
A Nigerian journalist, Oluwaseye Ogunsanya, emerged runner up in this category with the entry, “Did Nigeria’s Minister Of Education Announce Resumption of Schools On September 7?”