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African Fact-Checking Awards

2021 African Fact-Checking Awards

Enter now

Entries for the 2021 African Fact-Checking Awards, the longest-running awards programme that honours fact-checking journalism by the media in Africa, are now open. Journalists and journalism students across the continent can enter the awards, now in their eighth year.

We received a record number of 192 entries from 27 African countries in 2020 and expect this number to rise again this year. 

“Through the awards, we want to promote the practice of fact-checking and making accurate information available to citizens of all countries across Africa, which is now more important than ever,” says Noko Makgato, executive director at Africa Check.

"This, we believe, will help the public make informed decisions about important issues related to their health, education, politics and more. Ultimately, we expect that this will strengthen democracy and improve the quality of life across the continent."

To qualify, the entry must be an original piece of fact-checking journalism first published or broadcast on any date from 23 August 2020 to 31 July 2021, by a media- or independent fact-checking organisation based in Africa. The work may be published in print or online, broadcast on the radio or television or published in a blog. 

In the student category, the entry must be an original piece of fact-checking journalism first published or broadcast in a blog, student publication or by a media- or independent fact-checking organisation based in Africa.

Entries should expose a claim on an important topic that originated in or is relevant to Africa as misleading or wrong.

What counts as a fact-checking report?

If you are thinking about entering the African Fact-Checking Awards, a word of advice: don’t send us a traditional news report. 

Great traditional reporting is important but what we are looking for is a great piece of fact-checking journalism.

Find out what we're looking for

The categories include:

  • Fact-Check of the Year by a Working Journalist
  • Fact-Check of the Year by a Student Journalist
  • One runner-up in each of the two categories above 

The winner of the working journalist category will get a prize of US$3,000, while the runner-up will be awarded $1,500. The winner of the student journalist category will get a prize of $2,000, and the runner-up $1,000. 

Candidates can only enter for the awards in one category per year, but can submit more than one report if they choose. Students must have attended a journalism school at some period 23 August 2020 to 31 July 2021 and be younger than 35. 

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

Entries will be 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? 

To gain a better understanding of what is considered a fact-checking report, have a look at the winning entries from previous years below.

ENTER NOW

Entries close at midnight GMT on 1 August 2021.

 

Previous winners

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