Winners Emerge in Women Radio’s Maiden ReportHer Awards

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Winners have emerged in the maiden edition of the ReportHer Awards, an initiative of Women Radio 91.7, Nigeria’s first women-centred radio station, which celebrates journalists for their commitment to reporting women. The ceremony which took place on July 8, 2023, in Ikeja Lagos saw prizes being given in five categories: Television stations, Radio stations, Print media platforms, Digital or online categories, and individuals.

AriseNews won the Television category as the TV station that reported women more and gave prime space to women while Africa Independent Television was announced as the runner-up. In the print category BluePrint Newspaper won the prize with Leadership newspaper following as runner-up. Voice of Nigeria won the Radio category as the media platform that aimed at fair reportage of women; Sparkling FM came second. For the online category, Techcabal won the prize and Ripples Nigeria took the runner-up position.

Ms Titilope Fadare, a senior reporter with Premium Times Nigeria won the Individual Journalist category as the journalist that interviewed, covered, reported more women stories, and ensured gender-balanced reportage while Ene Oshaba C was announced as the runner-up. For emerging the ReportHer Journalist of the Year, Ms Fadare, won a scholarship to train at the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom courtesy UN Women and the Government of Canada.

In her opening remarks, Mrs. Toun Okewale Sonaiya, co-founder Women Radio 91.7 thanked media owners, executives, editors and journalists who break stereotypes in their reportage of Women especially during the 2023 elections. She urged the winners not to rest on their oars as there is more to be done to achieve a 50:50 balanced reportage of men and women. She disclosed that 2024 ReportHer Awards will expand to include photographic journalists’ categories, adding that there is a need to adopt a deliberate commitment to report women more and increase female representation in the media.

According to the organisers, the 2023 ReportHer Awards received 106 entries. It had Ene Ede, gender advocate and publisher of the Woman Today newspaper; Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director of International Press Centre (IPC); Chinonso Clark, CEO Lead for Good Africa; and Hamzat Lawal, Chief Executive Officer of Connected Development (CODE) as judges.

Dr Babatunde Okewale chairman Women Radio 91.7 thanked Nigerian media for the progress made so far in female reportage and for being deliberate in the fair inclusion of women. Dr. Okewale appreciated UN Women and the Canadian government for their support towards the realisation of this idea.

Mrs. Motunrayo Alaka, Executive Director, Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) noted that the ReportHer Awards ceremony was coming at a critical time in Nigeria’s history and therefore challenged the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration to aim for more than 35% of women in its appointments as the country awaits the list of ministers and heads of agencies, boards and parastatals. She emphasised the need for media to lead the way towards gender-balanced reportage that will enhance the development of both the media and the country.

Ms Beatrice Eyong, UN Women country representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS thanked media organisations for advancing the rights of women and girls in Nigeria through media visibility. She faulted the stereotype and biased representation of women which gave rise to the need for UN Women to address the seclusion of women in national affairs and gender inequality. Ms Eyong acknowledged the media as active shapers of perception and as such must be intentional in giving prominence to women-related issues to change the narrative that has been on for so long. She pointed out that: “If we do not achieve gender equality and empowerment, we cannot achieve sustainable development goals”.

Dr. Kole Shettima, Africa Director of MacArthur foundation highlighted the importance of the ReportHer Awards and celebrated media organisations that are committed to gender and social inclusion.

Women Radio 91.7 organised the ReportHer Awards in collaboration with the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) and sponsored by UNwomen and the Canadian government.