Manasseh Azuri Awuni
Manasseh Azuri Awuni

Mr Manasseh Azure Awuni, a Free-lance Investigative Journalist, has emerged the West African Journalist of the Year at the West Africa Media Excellence Awards held in Accra.

He received US$2,000 as his prize.

Mr Awuni won the prize on the ticket of a story titled: “Grounded Wheels,” which sought to expose the waste of resources on the continent, despite the little socio-economic progress.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, he said there was the need for the state to ensure the safety of investigative journalists, by actively creating a safe environment that complemented their work.

“If someone threatens a journalist, we should not wait for that journalist to be killed, immediate measures should be put in place to protect that journalist from harm in the first place,” he said.

Mr Awuni encouraged journalists, especially young and up-coming ones, not to allow fear or intimidation from any quarters to stop them from pursuing justice.

“Fighting corruption easily turns you into a target to be gotten rid of, but you need to press on and help build a clean society,” he said.

Mr Awuni also received 500 US Dollars for the Best Anti-corruption Report.

Six other journalists from the sub-region received awards in other categories.

They were Moussa Ngom, Senegal; Best Health Reporter, Olunfunke Busari, Nigeria; Best Reporter on Human Rights, and Olatunji Ololade, Nigeria; Best Environmental Reporter.

The rest were Fisayo Soyombo, Nigeria; Best Investigative Reporter, Kelechukwu Iruoma, Nigeria; Best Business and SMEs Reporter, and Innocent Duru, Nigeria; Best Telecommunications and ICT Reporter.

The event was organised by the Media Foundation for West Africa.

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