Inoyo Toro Foundation advisor Mr. Udom Inoyo inaugurated a five-member committee for the Ray Ekpu Award for Investigative Journalism for journalists working in Akwa Ibom State.
The prize is accompanied by a prize of 500,000 N (five hundred thousand naira). Founder of the Foundation and immediate vice-chairman of Exxon Mobil Companies in Nigeria, commended the quartet of Dele Giwa, Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese and Yakubu Mohammed for the role they played in forging a worthy and noble path towards investigative journalism in Nigeria. On why he instituted the award, Inoyo said he was inspired to honor the value of the quartet’s hard work and tenacity when he returned to the past: âIn 1985, four lively young men out of a passion to elevate the practice of investigative journalism founded Newswatch Magazine. These four young men; Dele Giwa, Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese and Yakubu Mohammed will radically redefine and elevate the practice of investigative journalism in Nigeria.
âIt was one of the most impressive eras of journalism in Nigeria. Newswatch has become the mark of excellence and perhaps a kind of annoyance for those in power. Of course, true journalism should not only bring about positive change, but should also have the courage to speak to power. “
Newswatch did it with classic panache fueled by professionalism. The squad of the four gentlemen mentioned above represented the golden age of journalism and our dear son and brother; Ray Ekpu has been a key player in this movement.
Continuing, he said: âJournalism, like education, is often called a thankless service. In recent times, the practice of journalism has lost its once positive appeal and appeal, but I believe it is our collective duty to restore the practice’s obscure reputation, elevate the profession, and reward excellence.
âOur vision is therefore to inspire our journalists in Akwa Ibom State to exploit the opportunities of the global media space.
This is our first outing in this area of ââhuman capacity development and we hope that our collective aspiration will come true.
Mr. Inoyo pointed out that the Ray Ekpu Prize for Investigative Journalism is not only an honor for him, but that it aims to draw attention to professionals in this noble art to uphold the principles of fair and accurate reporting as the world admires their integrity, passion and service as the watchdog of society.
âAlthough they report diligently, it behooves us to celebrate those who dare to face the gang of investigative journalism. Â»In his response, Chairman of the Committee and former editor-in-chief,
National Concord, Mr. Nsikak Essien, said, âMr. Ray Ekpu has made a name for himself as the Akwa Ibom State Poster Boy for Good Journalism. His story on the path to the pinnacle of professional journalism practice is very familiar and current.
Therefore, a dedicated award to honor him for his achievements in the practice of journalism in Akwa Ibom State in particular and Nigeria in general is worthy.
Thisday Newspaper Deputy CEO and Inoyo Toro Foundation Board Member Mr. Kayode Komolafe praised Ray Ekpu as a great journalist and respected brand, adding that the well-deserved award in his honor would inspire professionalism in the state.
Mr. Akpandem James also congratulated the Inoyo Toro Foundation for instituting the Ray Ekpu Prize for Investigative Journalism, adding that the award would differentiate men from boys as it would help define the true essence of journalism.
He stressed that this exercise would be independent of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom State Section and the Inoyo Toro Foundation.
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