Excellence in media reportage was celebrated when Mrs. Nkoli Omhoudu of African Independent Television (AIT) and Mr. Isaac Anyaogu of BusinessDay Newspaper won the 2019 Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) Media award organised by NAS in partnership with Vitafoam Nigeria Plc.
Omhoudu won the Science Journalist of the year award for broadcast category with her story titled “Rhesus Disease: Babies Silent Killer” while Anyaogu emerged winner of the print category with his story titled “Dying in Instalment: How Lead Battery Recyclers are Poisoning Nigerians.”
Each of the winners got a voucher worth of N50,000 to shop from Vitafoam Comfort Center and a N200,000 cheque from Vitafoam Nigeria Plc.
The NAS Science Media Award was established by the Nigerian Academy of Science in 2010 for outstanding science reporting. The yearly award is now in its 8th edition with firm sponsorship from Vitafoam Nigeria Plc for the second time.
Addressing participants at the awards ceremony in Lagos, the Editor of The Conversation Africa, Ms. Caroline Southey urged every journalist to embrace the fundamentals of development journalism and eschew misinformation at all time.
Southey who presented a paper titled “Captivating Science Reporting in the 21st Century” emphasised the need for good and responsible journalism in a digital era, which is also characterised by misinformation and disinformation.
Speaking further, Southey noted that “The only reason we can lay claim to journalism being a profession is that it opens the door to being able to go to places society wants to shun, simply doesn’t see because they seem too familiar and then to reflect what we find truthfully,” she said, calling on journalists in Nigeria to uphold the highest standard of ethics as they occupy critical segment for growth and development of Nigeria.
Earlier, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Vitafoam, Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi said that by reason of science and research, the company has moved into other areas of businesses and its waxing stronger.
“For Vitafoam, at the root of everything we do is innovation. So, we are very quick to partner with organizations who are very innovative in their thinking. Without a research and development unit, our computer would have not been where we are today. If all we do is just to sell mattresses, we would have been extinct. But by reason of innovation, we have gone beyond just making mattresses into several other productions and when we see an organization that is rewarding innovation, we are quick at partnering with such.
“Again, this is one of our corporate social responsibilities by giving back to the society and rewarding those who find it as a point of duty to educate the public,” Adeniyi said.
In his welcome address, the President of NAS, Professor Mosto Onuoha, appreciated the works of journalists, especially those writing on areas of science and thanked Vitafoam Nigeria Plc for the financial support geared towards uplifting the work of the academy. “It is important to write about science and talk about science, because science is changing everything around us,” he stated.