Fisayo Soyombo Wins Kurt's Award For Judicial Crime Report, Journalism - 9jaflaver

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Fisayo Soyombo Wins Kurt’s Award For Judicial Crime Report, Journalism

Fisayo Soyombo, an investigative journalist and former editor of TheCable, 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 funded by TheCable and the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

Now a freelance journalist, Soyombo 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, beginning from the moment of arrest by the police to the point of release from prison.

To experience the workings of the system in its raw state, he adopted the pseudonym Ojo Olajumoke and feigned an offence for which he was arrested and detained in police custody, arraigned in court and eventually remanded in prison.

The judges — comprising Tina Rosenberg, a Pulitzer prize-winning author and journalist; Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international anchor; Jeremy Bown, BBC’s Middle East editor; Lindsey Hilsum, international editor of Channel 4 News; Peter Maass, senior editor at The Intercept; and The New Yorker’s Jon Lee Anderson — commended Soyombo’s “vivid and compelling three-part series” which exposed “the everyday corruption and abuses of Nigeria’s criminal justice system”.

This was the third time in six years, the others being 2014 and 2016, that Soyombo had been shortlisted for the Kurt Schork awards, which recognise excellence in courageous reporting of conflict, corruption, human rights transgressions and other related issues.

Shah Meer Baloch, Pakistani journalist, and Kamiran Sadoun, Syrian journalist, were also named winners of two other categories — “freelance” and the recently-introduced “news fixer” award — respectively.

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