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Nigerian journalist ‘Fisayo Soyombo wins Kurt Schork Award after five attempts

Celebrated Nigerian investigative journalist, ‘Fisayo Soyombo, has been named winner of the Local Reporter category of the 2020 Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism.

Soyombo won the award for his undercover investigation on Nigeria’s criminal justice system after five attempts.

The freelance journalist spent two weeks in detention — five days in a Police cell and eight as an inmate in Ikoyi Prison — to track corruption in Nigeria’s criminal justice system.

The judges including a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, Tina Rosenberg; CNN’s Chief International Anchor, Christiane Amanpour; and BBC’s Middle East Editor, Jeremy Bown, commended Soyombo’s “vivid and compelling three-part series” which exposed “the everyday corruption and abuses of Nigeria’s criminal justice system”.

In the past, Soyombo had been short-listed for the Kurt Schork awards, which recognise excellence in courageous reporting of conflict, corruption, human rights transgressions and other related issues.

Pakistani journalist Shah Meer Baloch and Syrian journalist Kamiran Sadoun were also named winners of two other categories — Freelance and the recently-introduced News Fixer award — respectively.

The three winners will each receive a cash prize of US $5000.

The latest international recognition for Soyombo is a continuation of a stellar year for the investigative journalist, who, this year alone, has either won or been short-listed for the Fetisov Journalism Awards (Outstanding Investigation category), the West Africa Media Excellence Award (Investigative Reporting category), the WJP Anthony Lewis Prize for Exceptional Rule of Law Journalism, the One World Media Awards (International Journalist of the Year category) and the People Journalism Prize for Africa.

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