Thisday Journalist Bags Tobacco Control Journalism Award

A features and health writer with THISDAY Newspapers, Mr. Godwin Haruna is among six journalists that won the inaugural Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) Tobacco Control Investigative Journalism Fellowship, funded by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK).

The Fellowship grant is part of CTFK’s efforts to build the capacity of the Nigerian media to report tobacco control from an informed perspective and stimulate policies and actions to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll.

The Fellowship is also aimed at building and improving the public’s awareness on tobacco control and its related issues.

In a statement issued jointly in Lagos announcing the awards, the two groups said that entries from the successful journalists were picked after a rigorous screening process by a panel of veteran journalists.

Other winners are Shina Fadare of National Mirror, Bashirat Abdulwahab -Olomada a freelance journalist and Enoghase Sylvester Osio of the Daily Independent. Mrs. Oyeyemi Oyedeji of The Nation and Emmanuel Ogala of Premium Times were also named.

“We applaud the successful journalists for demonstrating willingness to go the extra mile in unearthing what the tobacco companies are ready to keep hidden from the public. This initiative is indeed timely and marks a turning point in tobacco control reporting in Nigeria,” said ERA Director, Corporate Accountability & Administration, Akinbode Oluwafemi.

Auwal Rafsanjani of CISLAC said: “We congratulate the successful journalists whose story ideas were adjudged worthy of the grant. We now expect more reports on the tobacco industry tactics to undermine the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in their bid to addict young smokers”.

The CTFK-funded fellowship was announced on September 13, 2013, asking practicing journalists working with national print, electronic or online media organisations to send in story ideas revolving around the following issues/themes: Tobacco Farming, Tobacco & Health, Marketing of tobacco to minors, Tobacco Smuggling, Taxation, Tobacco Industry Corporate Social Responsibility, Tobacco Prevalence and National Tobacco Control Bill legislative Process.

The statement said entries for the second round of the fellowship would open in November.

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