Fides Reporter, Eleke, Wins Prof Okunna Award for Ethical Journalism

By Chioma Ndife & Precious Ukeje

…As NUJ Names Maduka Man of the Year 2020

A contributor with Fides, Mr David Ikeugonna Eleke, has won the maiden edition of Prof Chinyere Okunna Award for Ethical Journalism. He won the award for an article he published on THISDAY Newspaper where he also works as Anambra State correspondent.

Eleke was announced the winner of the maiden edition of the award on Saturday, December18, 2020 during the Anambra Media Round Table/Award event, which also featured the Man of the Year Award, which held at Godwin Ezeemo Press Centre, Awka.

The award was instituted by Prof Chinyere Okunna, the first female professor of Mass Communication in Nigeria and the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Okunna said she had instituted an award for the best graduating student, and another one in the Faculty of Social Sciences, and Department of Mass Communication, at Nnamdi Azikiwe University.

‘I felt that as we encourage our students who are studying to become journalists, we can also encourage journalists who are already in the field practicing.

The chairman of the three-man panel of judges for the award, and Managing Director of the state owned newspaper company, National Light, Mr Chuka Nnabuife, who announced Eleke winner of the maiden edition of the competition, said his entry with the caption, ”Travails of Awaiting Trial Inmates in Anambra Prisons”, was daring and deserved to win.

He said, ‘We received 17 entries in all, both from print, online and radio. There were no television entries. This award, it is believed, will spur journalists to sit up and work hard.

‘Most of the entries were very well investigated stories that showed courage on the part of the reporters, but the panel resolved that for his story on the travails of awaiting trial inmates in most prisons in the state, David-Chyddy Eleke of THISDAY Newspaper deserves to win.’

Eleke had the previous weekend at Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos State, received an award as the 2nd runner-up of the Diamond Award for Media Excellence in the investigative reporting category, after which he also won the Fides Best Reporter of the Month two days later.

Meanwhile, the Anambra State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has named the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Las Vegas Pain Institute, Dr Godwin Maduka, as its Man of the Year.

Maduka, a pain management expert, is a philanthropist who has single-handedly changed the face of his community, Umuchukwu, in Orumba South Local Government Area with diverse infrastructure.

From championing the change of the name of the community from Nkerefi to Umuchukwu, Maduka built over 100 houses to replace all thatched houses in the community, 100km of roads around the community, a church each for Catholic and Anglican churches, police station, post office, a palace for the traditional ruler and provided electricity.

He also donated about 100 motorcycles to the unemployed youths, scholarship to over 200 students, built schools, courts, and a police college to be donated to the Federal Government, a 17-floor medical research institute, among several others.

NUJ Chairman in Anambra, Mr Emma Ifesinachi, stated that the union named Maduka its Man of the Year for selflessly changing the fortunes of his once sleepy agrarian community to a city. He noted that Maduka who is running for the governorship seat of the state, could be judged from what he had already done, using his personal resources.

The panelists that picked the winners comprised Sir Chuka Nnabuife, MD/Editor-in-Chief of National Light Newspapers; Mr Jude Atupulazi, Editor-in-Chief, Fides Newspaper and Dr Henry Duru, a lecturer in the Mass Communication Department of Unizik.

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