PREMIUM TIMES journalist Kabiru Yusuf has emerged as the runner-up in the Working Journalist category at the African Fact-Checking awards, the longest-running awards programme honouring fact-checking journalism in Africa.
The award was held on Thursday at a Gala Night in Nairobi, Kenya, marking the end of the inaugural Africa Facts Summit 2022.
Mr Yusuf’s fact-check of President Muhammadu Buhari’s claim of “leaving Nigeria better than he found it” won the coveted runner-up award.
The report, published in July, examined the three areas of governance that Mr Buhari was asked about in his June interview with Bloomberg – corruption, security, and the economy.
Using internationally recognized metrics, Mr Yusuf’s fact-check found the president’s claim to be largely false. All economic indices have got worse under Mr Buhari’s administration while security and anti-corruption cannot be said to have improved in the last seven years.
“I am immensely proud of my team member Yusuf for his glory at the Africa Checks Awards,” said Taiwo Adebayo, PREMIUM TIMES’ head of investigations and data desk.
“This is a deserved recognition of the excellent work Mr Yusuf does and the industry and rigour he invests in our work.”
Mr Yusuf is a member of PREMIUM TIMES’ investigations and data desk. He’s a self-taught graphics designer who uses an array of tools to creatively represent data and crunch numbers through infographics.
The investigation he co-authored on Nigerians seeking asylum in Canada bagged the award for the best story in the online category of the 2022 Reporting Migration Competition in July.
A 2022 climate fellow of the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), Mr Yusuf has authored more than 300 reports on education, migration, gender, foreign affairs, data analysis on budget and matters of public spending.
“I am immersed in gratitude for this glory and honour,” he said after winning the award.
“But I realised that getting this recognition at the continental level emphasises the many other needs remaining in our resolve always to hold government officials, public figures, and corporations accountable.”
This year’s award ceremony also marks the 10th anniversary of Africa Check. Organisers said the need for accurate information in everyday life has spurred the growth of fact-checking in Africa and across the world.
“Fact-checking works because we’re answering a need for accuracy,” said Peter Cunliffe-Jones, the founder of Africa Check.
The Africa Check awards have three categories: Fact-Check of the Year by a Working Journalist; Fact-Check of the Year by a Professional Fact-Checker; and Fact-Check of the Year by a Student Journalist.
The winner in the working journalist category was Nigerian Journalist Kunle Adebajo for his fact-check: “Russia Claims U.S. Is Making Bioweapons In Nigeria. True?”
For his report on Unmasking the faces behind the COVID-19 anti-vaccination campaign in Ghana, Jonas Nyabor, a fact-checker with Dubawa Ghana won the category of Fact-Check of the Year by a Professional Fact-Checker. The runner-up for that category was James Okong, a fact-checker with AFP Fact-Check.
In the Student Journalist category, three students of the University of Mauritius; Vidyasharita Bumma, Kokeelavani Mauree & Sachita Gobeen won the prize with their story fact-checking a Mauritian media organisation’s “misleading claims on vaccination for children.” The runner-up for that category was Elizabeth Henri-Héloïse.
The winners of the working journalist and professional fact-checker categories each got a cash prize of US$3,000. The runners-up received $1,500 each. The winner of the student journalist category was awarded $2,000, and the runner-up $1,000.
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