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Lai Oso To Receive Double Honour At 2023 Amplify In-depth Media Conference, Awards

Daud Olatunji

In a historic moment, the late Professor Lai Oso, a distinguished figure in communications and scholarship, is set to posthumously receive dual honours at the upcoming 18th edition of the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting. 

The event, scheduled for Saturday, December 9, 2023, at the Abuja Continental Hotel (formerly Sheraton) by 5 pm, will commemorate Oso’s legacy with the Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence and the Anti-Corruption/Human Rights Defender Award.

Motunrayo Alaka,Executive Director/CEO, WSCIJ and Coordinator, MAJ Cohort disclosed this in a statement .

Alaka said the decision to honour Professor Oso in this unique manner is a testament to his lasting impact on the Nigerian media landscape. 

She said, Oso having served  as the chair of the award’s judges’ board on four occasions (2012, 2013, 2016, and 2017), played a pivotal role in shaping the recognition of investigative journalism. 

According to her, his dedication to nurturing journalistic talent and advocating for the media to be a voice for the voiceless further solidifies his place in the annals of Nigerian journalism.

She added “Abimbola Oso, his wife, will graciously accept the honorary awards on behalf of the family during the award ceremony, marking a poignant moment of remembrance and celebration.

“The recognition of Professor Lai Oso will be part of the broader Amplify In-depth Media (AIM) Conference & Awards, spanning Friday, December 8, and Saturday, December 9, 2023, starting at 9 am daily, at the Abuja Continental Hotel. The AIM Conference boasts a distinguished lineup of over 40 speakers and will precede the award ceremony.

“Dapo Olorunyomi, the Publisher of Premium Times and Founder/CEO of the Centre for Journalism Innovation & Development (CJID), will take center stage as the keynote speaker, addressing the theme – ‘The independent media equation: Policies, ownership, technology, and sustainability’. 

“Notable speakers include Umaru Pate, Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Kashere (FUK), Gombe State; Amina Salihu, Deputy Director, MacArthur Foundation; Yemisi Bamgbose, Executive Secretary of Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON); Toyin Akinniyi, Vice President, Africa, Luminate Group, and other distinguished personalities from the media industry.

“The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) is co-hosting the AIM Conference & Awards this year with the MacArthur ‘On Nigeria Project’ Media and Journalism (MAJ) cohort.

” The event serves as a two-day physical and virtual conference, delving into investigative journalism, democracy, and strategies to amplify and sustain investigative reporting.

“The Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting, since its inception in 2005, has recognized the contributions of 116 finalists, 59 Soyinka Laureates, 13 investigative journalists of the year, and 28 honorary award recipients.

” The MacArthur Foundation has generously provided funds for the conference, while the award programme  is proudly sponsored by the Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria.

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