The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) invites entries from Nigerian professional journalists or team of journalists, full-time or part-time, for the 14th edition of the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting. The centre has introduced online application option for some categories of the award for this edition.
The award, which is an annual programme of WSCIJ, seeks to honour journalism works with focus on public and or corporate corruption, human rights abuses, or failure of regulatory agencies, published or aired between 4th October 2018 and 3rd October 2019.
This year, applicants for the Television, Radio and Online categories of the award can put in their entries through an online application process. The other three categories requiring hard copy submission given the nature of entry processing, are the Print, Photography and Editorial cartoon.
Received entries will be collated using the award coding system and assessed by a panel of media experts and related professionals with good understanding of investigative reporting. The judges’ board would broadly score submitted stories based on quality of investigation, evidence, human rights elements, ethical reportage, courage, individual creativity, public interest, impact and quality of presentation.
Overall, judges will be looking for ethical reporting courage, individual creativity and public benefit
The Award is open to any Nigerian professional reporter or team of reporters (full time or freelancing), 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.
- Editorial cartoon
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 2018 and 3 October 2019.
An applicant may only submit a maximum of two entries.
Print Entries – Newspaper and Magazine (only hard copy entry submission is available)
- Entrants are required to send the original and a CLEAN Photocopy.
Broadcast Entries – Radio and Television (entry submissions through hard copy OR the online portal is available)
For hard copy submission
- Transcripts should be written in English language.
- Audio entries should be sent in audio CD format, with accompanying script while video entries must be on VCD, with accompanying script.
- 2 copies of each entry is required.
For online portal submission
- All the required fields must be completed in the portal.
- For radio entries, applicants must upload the entry on SoundCloud (SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform that enables its users to upload and share their originally created sounds) and provide the weblink where required on the portal.
- For television entries, applicants must upload the entry on YouTube (YouTube is a video sharing platform) and provide the weblink where required on the portal.
Photographic Entries (only hard copy entry submission is available)
- In addition to the broad criteria, photo entries will be scored on creativity, impact and technical quality.
- Each entry must be well captioned in English.
- It must come with the original photo, a copy of the published work with a clean photocopy of the latter and a CD with the picture(s).
Online Entries (only entry submissions through the online portal is available)
- Clearly indicated URL (web link) for the published work is required as printouts are unacceptable.
- Screenshots of websites will not be accepted.
Editorial Cartooning (only hard copy entry submission is available)
- In addition to the broad criteria, editorial cartooning will also be scored on impact, creativity and originality.
- An original copy of the published work with clean photocopy are required.
- Entry is free.
- 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.
- The reporter with the most outstanding work(s) amongst the finalists will be selected as the WSCIJ-Investigative Reporter of the year.
- 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 Centre 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 despite possible sponsorship of some categories of the award.
- The competition shall be covered and interpreted with the laws of Nigeria.
The submitted entries should include:
- A brief synopsis of the story/series, 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 byline of the story with passport photograph
- Include any relevant background information on submitted work(s)
- Synopsis should be in English and a maximum of 400 words.
- All submissions for print, photography and editorial cartoon categories should be in hard copy.
- Submissions for radio and television categories can be made through hard copy or the online portal.
- Submissions for the online category should be made through the online portal.
- All radio and television submissions must 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 have been done at.
- Proof of the date and time of publication as documented in the day’s bulletin from each of the media houses is also required for the audio and video uploaded for all radio and television submissions respectively.
- A distinguished judges’ board, which comprises respected persons with suitable knowledge, competencies and experience in news media practice, shall adjudge the competition.
- All entries are coded to disguise media house and reporter’s byline 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.
- 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 2019 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, runners-up and commended finalists) 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.
- Only entries received by the deadline will be treated.
Deadline for Submission of Entries: 4PM Thursday 24 October 2019
Hard copy entries should be sent to:
The Centre Coordinator
18A, Abiodun Sobajo Street, Off Lateef Jakande Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.
For online application, Click Here
The WSCIJ has since October 2005, rewarded, promoted and encouraged the development of the culture of investigative reporting in the Nigerian media through the award, which has had thirteen editions and ninety-one finalists.