By Uduma Kalu & Kemi Balogun
Nigeria’s most informative newspaper, Vanguard, has won the 2012 Alex Ibru Prize for Investigative Reporter of the Year. It was awarded to Mr. Kemi Ishola Balogun for his story, Police Goes Tough on Mother of Miracle Babies.
The story took the reporter over three months to accomplish.
Vanguard also received other nominations, including the NAFCON Prize for Environment Reporter of the Year for the story Ogoni on the Brink of Extinction and for the Conoil Prize for Energy Correspondent of the Year for The Realities of Facing Headlong Deregulation, all by Clara Nwachukwu.
Vanguard’s Deputy Cartoon Editor, Mr. Laobis Obilonu, also got a nomination for his work entitled Cry Not…Is this Not the Meaning of Transformation?
Vanguard also sponsored a winning story, Nationalisation of Banks: In Whose Interest? written by Mrs Nkeiruka Nnorom for New Star.
She also got another nomination for the same paper in Intercontinental Bank Prize Capital Market Reporter of the Year, with the story Will Oil and Gas, Telecoms Sectors Ever Last?
Punch won the Newspaper of the Year, Editor of the Year and Editorial of the Year, among others.
Organised by the Nigerian Media Merit Award, NMMA, last Saturday, the competition is regarded asNigeria’s most important and biggest media prize.
At the event, which was filled with media executives, nominees, government officials, captains of industries, advert chiefs among others, Publisher of the Vanguard newspapers, Mr. Sam Amuka, was honoured with Special Media Industry Achievement Award for Consistent Commitment to High Professional Standards.
He was also recognised as Current Father of Print Media in Nigeria. It was received on his behalf by Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, General Manager Publication/Editor-in-Chief, Vanguard Newspapers.
Amuka got the award in the Distinguished Honoree Category with the diplomat and former minister in the first republic, Alhaji Yusuf Sule. Sule got the NMMA Outstanding National Leadership Service Award.
The former Chairman, Punch Newspaper, Chief Ajibola Ogunshola, was honoured with Commendable Management of Media Organisation Award.
In a citation read on Amuka by the television presenter, Ms Benny Uche, who compered the event with the broadcaster, Mr. Femi Segun, NMMA described the publisher as the oldest practising journalist inNigeria, who has contributed, most outstandingly, to the development of media practice inNigeriaand in particular, print journalism.
The body said: “Uncle Sam, as he is now affectionately called by the cream of younger media professionals, has contributed greatly to building some if the best journalists and media leaders inNigeria, many of whom have turned out to be accomplished media owners, publishers and consultants.
“Each one claims to have gained something unique from this passionate, unassuming and resourceful media legend.”