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African Fact-Checking Awards

The African Fact-Checking Awards, the longest-running awards programme honouring fact-checking journalism by the media in Africa, are in their ninth year. 

Entries for the 2022 awards are now open to journalists, journalism students, and a newly added category of professional fact-checkers – across the continent. 

The need for accurate information in everyday life has spurred the growth of fact-checking in Africa and across the world. In 2021, we received a record number of 216 entries from 28 African countries. We expect even more in 2022. 

To qualify, entries must have been first published or broadcast in the period from 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022. The fact-check should conclude that a claim about an important topic, originating in or relevant to Africa, is either misleading or wrong. 

The awards have three categories, with honours going to a winner and a runner-up. The categories are:

  • Fact-Check of the Year by a Working Journalist 
  • Fact-Check of the Year by a Professional Fact-Checker
  • Fact-Check of the Year by a Student Journalist

The winners of the working journalist and professional fact-checker categories will each get a prize of US$3,000. The runners-up will receive $1,500. The winner of the student journalist category will be awarded $2,000, and the runner-up $1,000. 

Entries close at midnight GMT on 31 July 2022. 

Submit your entry

Terms and conditions

To be eligible, entries for this competition must:

  • Be the original work of the individual or team identified in the entry form as the author.

  • Expose a claim on an important topic that originated in or is relevant to Africa as misleading or wrong.

  • Be an original piece of fact-checking journalism first published or broadcast on any date from 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022.

  • Be received by the organisers before midnight GMT on 31 July 2022. Late entries will not be accepted.

  • Be received by the organisers via the official entry form. No other means of sending in entries is allowed.

  • Fact-checks can be published/broadcast in any language, but entry forms must be completed in either English or French. However, should the fact-checking report not be in English or French, a written translation must be submitted with the entry.

  • By submitting an entry, the entrant confirms that they are the authors of the work, and that in the case of any dispute about this, this is entirely the entrant's responsibility

  • Reports published by Africa Check are not eligible for the competition.

  • Judges reserve the right to move an entry from one category to another.

  • Candidates can only enter for the awards in one category per year, but can submit more than one report if they choose.

  • Should the entrant win a prize in the awards, we will send the money to a bank account to be nominated by them.

  • At the shortlisting stage a representative of the jury may seek clarification on some points.

  • Entrants who are found to be unethical about any aspect related to their entry will be disqualified.

  • Entrants must agree to do media interviews and/or reports about the awards if they win.

  • Entrants for the awards must agree to accept the judges' decision as final.

Category: Fact-Check of the Year by a Working Journalist

  • Only journalists who do not work for fact-checking organisations are eligible to enter in this category.

  • The entry must have been published or broadcast for the first time by a media- or independent fact-checking organisation based in Africa on any date from 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022.

  • The work may be published in print or online, broadcast on the radio or television, or published in a blog.

Category: Fact-Check of the Year by a Professional Fact-Checker

  • Journalists, fact-checkers or researchers who work for fact-checking organisations or organisations aimed at uncovering dis- or misinformation must enter in this category.

  • The entry must have been published or broadcast for the first time by a media- or independent fact-checking organisation based in Africa on any date from 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022.

  • The work may be published in print or online, broadcast on the radio or television, or published in a blog.

Category: Fact-Check of the Year by a Student Journalist

  • To enter the student category, candidates must be from Africa and younger than 35 by 31 July 2022.

  • Student candidates must have been enrolled as a student at a university, college or other tertiary institution at some period from 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022.

  • This category excludes part-time students who are working as professional fact-checkers or journalists. Such candidates must enter one of the other two categories.

  • The entry must be an original piece of fact-checking journalism, produced as course work or first published or broadcast on any date from 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022.

  • The work may be published in a blog, student publication or by a media- or independent fact-checking organisation based in Africa.

 

Entries are judged based on the following criteria:

Significance

The significance for wider society of the claim/statement investigated. How much does the topic matter to society at large and how serious could the consequences be if the claim wasn't fact-checked?

Testing

How was the claim tested against the available evidence? Fact-checkers must take a long, hard look at the claim/statement that was made. Fact-checking entails rigorously sifting through the publicly available evidence for and against the claim. This should be done in a way that is fair to the person or institution who made the claim and strict in assessing the evidence.

Presentation

How well does the piece present the evidence for and against the claim? A good fact-checking report is structured in such a way that it's understandable and makes the topic accessible to the widest possible public. 

Impact

The impact that the fact-check had on public debate on the topic. Did it lead to a correction, did it have significant reach, or was it shared by other organisations or members of the media, for instance? 

 

Previous winners

2021

We received a record number of 216 entries from 28 countries.

Winners

Runners-up

2020

We received a record number of 192 entries from 27 African countries in 2020. 

Winners

Runners-up

2019

We received a total of 153 entries from more than 20 countries all across the continent – from Ethiopia, Nigeria and Senegal to Egypt, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Winners

Runner-ups

Winner 2019
Winners of the 2019 Africa Fact Checking Awards at a ceremony at Wits University, Johannesburg on 29 October 2019.

 

2018

We received over 150 entries from more than 20 countries, from Ethiopia, Nigeria and Egypt to South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Winners

  • Best fact-checking report by a working journalist: Chikezie Omeje, International Centre For Investigative Reporting (ICIR), “FACT CHECK: Did Nigeria record a reduction in preschool enrolment?”, Nigeria
  • Best fact-checking report by a student journalist: Moussa Ngom, CESTI, “Dakar n’est pas la deuxième ville au monde la plus polluée”, Senegal

Runners-up

Winner 2018
Winner of the student category Moussa Ngom and runner-up of best fact-check Jason Norwood-Young at the 2018 African Fact-checking Awards held at Wits University. Picture: Kabi Motlau.

 

2017

In 2017, we received a record number of applications – 159 entries from 25 countries – from Ethiopia and Egypt in the north to South Africa and Zimbabwe in the south, before entries closed on 31 August.

Winners

Runners-up

Winner 2017
18 November 2017: Keymote address and awards ceremony held at Wits University Great Hall. Picture: Daylin Paul.

 

2016

After reviewing 130 entries from 22 countries the judges selected the following:

Winners

Runners-up

Winner 2015
Winner Benjamin Ezeamalu (middle), with Robert Holloway, director of the AFP Foundation, editors of Africa Check, and Peter Cunliffe-Jones. Photo: AFP/KAREL PRINSLOO

 

2015

After entries from more than 50 journalists in 15 countries, the jury selected the below winners and runners-up:

Winner

  • Best fact-checking report: Ben Ezeamalu, Premium Times, Nigeria

Runners-up

Winner 2015
Winner Benjamin Ezeamalu (middle), with Robert Holloway, director of the AFP Foundation, editors of Africa Check, and Peter Cunliffe-Jones. Photo: AFP/KAREL PRINSLOO

 

2014

In our inaugural year, we received entries from more than 40 journalists across 10 countries.

Winner

  • Edem Srem & Gifty Andoh Appiah, independent film-makers, Ghana

Runners-up

Winner 2014
Edem Srem receives his certificate from Africa Check chair and AFP Foundation Director, Robert Holloway

 

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