This year’s winners were picked from among 130 entries, from 22 countries, showing great growth from 2014 and 2015. Thank you to everyone who entered.
Anderson Diédri, of the website Eburnietoday.com, was named the winner of the top fact-checking award for francophone African media, for a report exposing as false claims made by the government of Côte d’Ivoire in a land dispute in the country’s centre.
The award for English-language media went to Arison Tamfu, of the Cameroon Journal, for a report revealing that claims by the country’s President Paul Biya to have gifted laptops to “each student of a public or private university in Cameroon” were false.
The runners-up were Swazi journalist Phathizwe Mongezi Zulu, for a report for South Africa’s AmaBhungane and GroundUp websites on a plane acquired by King Mswati III, and Dayo Oketola, of Punch Newspaper in Nigeria, for a report into the claims of a publicly-funded communications satellite operator.
The two winners each received a first prize of USD$2,000, while the runners took home a prize of USD$1,000 each. The awards, hosted again this year by the African Media Initiative (AMI), were sponsored by the AFP news agency and the philanthropic Shuttleworth Foundation.
The growth in entries underscores the increased interest by journalists in fact-checking:
“In a year when fact-checking has been in the news around the world, the standard of entries has been higher than ever; our winning entries show why it is so important that journalists do not just report what public figures say, but question their claims and expose those that are not true.”
– Africa Check executive director, Peter Cunliffe-Jones
Student category in 2017
In 2017, we will be introducing a new category for the best fact-checking report published by a student journalist at a college or university, with a top prize of USD$500. As fact-checking continues to become an essential skill for any mainstream journalist to acquire, Africa Check hopes that journalism schools around the continent will want to enter their students for these important awards.
Details of the 2017 awards, for working and student journalists, will be announced in early 2017.