Mr. Ibanga Isine.(Credit: Facebook)

Abasifreke Effiong, Uyo.

Journalism impact awards have been instituted in honour of two outstanding Nigerian journalists, Messrs Ibanga Isine and Nelson Etukudoh.

Mr Isine has won many awards for investigative journalism and impact reporting including the the 2019 Wole Soyinka award for investigative reporting and the CNN Multichoice African Journalist of the year award 2015.

Mr Etukudoh, now late, was the editor of the The Nigerian Chronicles – published by the Cross River state government.

Journalism award for impact reporting was instituted in honour of Mr Ibanga Isine, while best local newspaper award was instituted in honour of Mr Nelson Etukudoh.

The two awards have a prize money of N500,000 each and will run for a period of three years from 2023.

Isine’s investigative reports exposed the brutal killings by soldiers at the Dangote cement factory in Benue, how bribe-taking Nigerian security officials were contributing to high cost of livestock in Southern Nigeria, and how the Kaduna state government was sanctioning killings of Christians in Southern Kaduna.

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The Isine’s award for impact reporting is solely sponsored by Mr Utibe Ukim ,Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, XL Communications Limited.

Ukim, a renowned aviation and Mr Moffat Ekoriko, a Nigerian/British journalist and publisher of NewsAfrica and The Moment are co-sponsors of the Nelson Etukudoh award for best local newspaper.

Mr Ukim announced the awards at a lecture to mark the 2022 press week of the Akwa Ibom state Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, emphasising the need for journalists from Akwa Ibom to “move from the fringes to the centre court of journalism excellence so they can champion causes” of the State.

While paying tributes other great journalists from Akwa Ibom including Ray Ekpu, Etim Anim, Ekaete Ekpo, Nnamso Umoren, Effiong Essien, Martins Usenekong, Antigha Bassey, Brenda Bassey, for their contributions in the struggle for Nigeria’s independence, the return to civilian rule, creation of Akwa Ibom state and journalism development in Nigeria, he encouraged the current corps of journalist from the state to “champion the next season of change”.

Speaking on the topic, “Journalism in the season of change”, Ukim noted that Akwa Ibom state and Nigeria are facing multi-faceted economic and social problems which have placed a challenge on journalists to stand up and drive the needed change through impactful reportage and agenda setting.

In 2021, Inoyo Toro Foundation based in Akwa Ibom State instituted an award for investigative journalism in honour of Ray Ekpu.