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Taiwo Adebulu named TheCable Journalist of the Year

BY TheCable

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Taiwo Adebulu is TheCable Journalist of the Year 2021, the newspaper’s editors announced on Friday.

The award, which comes with a cash prize of N250,000, recognises journalists within the ranks of TheCable “who have demonstrated industry, resilience and self-motivation as well as having produced impact stories during the year”.

Chinedu Asadu — who now works with the Associated Press (AP), an American non-profit news agency — won the inaugural award in 2020.

Adebulu was picked as the winner following the impact of his undercover investigation at the Federal Marriage Registry, Ikoyi, Lagos state, which exposed the extortion and untold corruption by government officials.

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After the story was published, the ministry of internal affairs stopped manual registration and directed all applicants to go online in an attempt to tackle the graft-ridden process.

Adebulu began his journalism career in 2014 as a freelance reporter with The Nation.

In 2017, he won the Zimeo Excellence in Media awards in Ethiopia with a report he did for TheCable as a freelance journalist.

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The judges rated his report, Inside Ondo community where children fish in the Atlantic Ocean to raise school fees, as the best in the SDG category.

He joined TheCable full-time in February 2018 and was a finalist in The Future Awards Africa Prize for Journalism in the same year.

In 2020, he won the PwC Media Excellence Awards.

Adebulu also won the overall prize at the African Fact-Checking Awards in 2020 for his investigative piece that exposed the falsehood of a claim by the Nigerian government at the UN general assembly.

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He was a finalist in the African Growth Story category of the 2020 Sanlam Awards for Excellence in Financial Journalism. In 2021, Adebulu was longlisted for the One World Media (OWM) journalism award and also got an honourable mention on the winning list of the 20th SEJ Awards for Reporting on the Environment.

He is the head of Fact Check Desk at TheCable and is a corps member of the America-based Report for the World (RFW), an initiative from The GroundTruth Project which supports “ground up” journalism to serve under-covered corners of the world.

Oluwafemi, Chime and Ojo were recognised by TheCable for “significant improvement” in skills and performance.

MOST IMPROVED JOURNALISTS

A new category was introduced by the newspaper’s management for the “most improved” journalists.

This is to reward three young journalists who have improved their skills and performance “significantly” during the year.

James Ojo, Ayodele Oluwafemi and Vivian Chime were named winners in this category with a cash prize of N50,000 each.

Officially a reporter with TheCable Lifestyle, Ojo has in the last year spread his tentacles into investigating anomalies in society, most notably the soot pollution menace in Rivers state.

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He is a graduate of mass communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) where he graduated with second class upper.

Oluwafemi, a criminal justice reporter, has brought several under-reported issues to public consciousness through his relentless and passionate reporting.

An RFW corps member, Oluwafemi holds a degree in mass communication from the University of Benin, Edo state. At the orientation camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Ebonyi in 2019, he served as the news editor of the Orientation Broadcasting Service.

Chime, also an RFW corps member, pioneered TheCable’s Climate Change Desk where she keeps readers apprised of the ripple effects of the global phenomenon as well as solutions towards limiting its impact.

Another product of mass communication from UNN, Chime has won international recognition, including the International Center for Journalists Global Health Crisis Reporting award. She was also one of the awardees for the best fact-checked reports through the 2020 Dubawa fellowship.

Kolawole: We are trying to reward and encourage hard work, initiative and result-oriented journalism.

‘THECABLE IS ON COURSE’

Simon Kolawole, founder and CEO of TheCable, congratulated the awardees and challenged them and their colleagues to do more in the new year to spread the newspaper’s gospel of deploying knowledge-driven journalism “in the pursuit of Nigeria’s progress”.

“From the criteria for the awards, we can see the motive: to reward and encourage hard work, initiative and result-oriented journalism,” he said in his year-end message to the staff.

“We are in an age dominated by sensationalism and opinionated journalism. The real challenge is trying to stay the course of professionalism. That is what can build trust and respect among enlightened and discerning readers.

“I salute my colleagues for remaining faithful to the core values of TheCable: independence, impartiality, integrity, defence of the public interest and respect for diversity. I believe we are on course to becoming Africa’s most respected online newspaper as we envisioned when we launched out in April 2014.”

Olapoju: Quest for excellence is the philosophy behind everything at TheCable.

Kolapo Olapoju, TheCable editor, enjoined the awardees and other team members to continue raising the bar as the newspaper seeks to double down on its efforts in 2022.

“Constant and never-ceasing quest for excellence is the philosophy behind everything we do at TheCable, and we have been fortunate to — over the years — attract incredible talents who we mould into sterling journalists,” he said.

“At the moment, we are building a league of extraordinary reporters who can compete with their peers anywhere in the world and it is exciting to see the response and result so far.

“The goal is to never lose the hunger to keep improving — and that is a sermon we won’t stop preaching.”

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