18th Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting Applications

18th Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting Applications

18th Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting Applications – The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) is thrilled to announce that journalists may submit their entries for the 18th edition of the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting (WSAIR) from Wednesday 4 October to Tuesday 24 October 2023 by 4pm. The award welcomes entries from Nigerian reporters, individuals or teams and full-time or freelancers, who have published stories in the Nigerian news media directly mainly at the Nigerian audience. Interested journalists are encouraged to carefully read the entry criteria for each award category and apply here.

This year, Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) will continue its tradition of recognising exceptional journalism across print, online, photojournalism, editorial cartooning, television and radio genres that investigates public and corporate corruption, exposes human rights violations, and highlights regulatory abuses in Nigeria. The stories must be newsworthy, investigative, expose or prevent clandestine activities and corruption in the public and private domain and promote human rights.

A panel of media experts and industry professionals will assess the entries using WSCIJ’s meticulous award coding and vetting system. Judges will score submissions based on the quality of investigation, the strength of evidence presented, human rights elements, ethical reporting standards, journalistic courage, individual creativity, public interest, tangible impact and overall presentation.

Since its inception in 2005, the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting has recognised the contributions of 116 finalists, 59 Soyinka Laureates, 13 investigative journalists of the year and 28  honorary awards recipients.


The award is open to any Nigerian professional reporter or team of reporters (fulltime or freelancers), 18-years and above, who have published stories either online, in print, or through electronic media, primarily targeted at and received by a Nigerian audience.


The main criterion for eligibility is that the work (single work or single-subject serial) must involve reporting on public, and or corporate corruption, human rights violation, or on the failure of regulatory agencies. The story should reflect a high quality of investigation in terms of newsworthiness, capacity to expose or prevent clandestine activities, corruption in the public domain, an understanding of human rights implications enhanced by the quality of presentation. Such works should have been first published or broadcast in a Nigerian media between 4th October 2022 and 3rd October 2023.

An applicant may only submit a maximum of two entries. Please submit your applications through the application online portal here.


  • Print
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Photography
  • Online
  • Editorial cartoon

Print – Newspaper and magazine

  • Scan and upload a clean and clear original print copy of the story entry in PDF format through the online application portal.
  • Provide the e-paper of relevant pages of published work(s) where available.
  • URL (weblink) for the published work is not acceptable for this category.

Broadcast radio and television

  • Provide media organisation’s weblink of entry where available. Otherwise, upload the entry on SoundCloud for radio or YouTube for television and provide the weblink.
  • Ensure the submitted entries have a “cue in” and “cue out” which are linked to the person making the main presentation on the media to prove that what is submitted was done in the media house it claimed to be.
  • Include proof of the date and time of publication as documented in the day’s bulletin of the media house for the audio and video uploaded for all radio and television submissions respectively.


In addition to the broad criteria, photo entries will be scored on creativity, impact and technical quality.

  • Upload the original photo in the section required on the portal.
    For photos published in print, include a clean and clear scanned PDF copy of the full page of the published work showing the date of publication. Entrants are also encouraged to provide the electronic paper copy (e-copy) page(s) for the published work(s) where available.
  • For photos from online news organisations, the URL (weblink) for the published work must be provided.


  • Provide URL (weblink) for the published work or reports aired online (For web based Television and Radio).

Editorial Cartoon

In addition to the broad criteria, editorial cartooning will also be scored on impact, creativity and originality.

  • For cartoons published in print, provide a clean and clear scanned PDF copy of the full page where the published work appeared with date.
  • Upload electronic copy (e-copy) page(s) for the published work(s) where available.
  • For cartoons published online, the URL (weblink) for the published work must be provided.


  • Due to the volume of entries, only reporters shortlisted as finalists will be contacted and announced after selection by the Judges’ Board.
  • The reporter with the most outstanding work(s) amongst the finalists will be selected as the WSCIJ-Nigerian Investigative Reporter of the year.
  • Only a maximum of two entries across all categories of the award will be allowed per entrant.
  • All submitted works must be in English Language. Where the entry is in a Nigerian language, a transcript must be provided in English language.
  • Entering for this competition commits you to grant WSCIJ a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free licence to use your works for any purpose deemed appropriate for the development of the award initiative, the WSCIJ and the Nigerian and global media.
  • To enhance the development of media in the country, reporters that have been winners in this competition on three occasions are ineligible to enter.
  • Employees of the WSCIJ and/or their immediate families are ineligible to participate in the competition.
  • WSCIJ guarantees that there is no connection between any sponsor and the judging process.
  • The competition shall be covered and interpreted with the laws of Nigeria.


The submitted entries should include:

  • A brief synopsis of the story/series (maximum 400 words), picture, or portfolio.

In the synopsis, the applicant is expected to:

  • Explain the background of the project, identifying the issues and key players.
  • Describe what led to the topic or caption, any unusual condition faced in developing the project and whether the investigation had any ramifications.
  • Describe the challenges to the content of the story/series that were not reported in the original work.
  • Include up-to-date Curriculum Vitae for every reporter who bears the by-line of the story with passport photograph(s).
  • Include any relevant background information on submitted work(s).

Judging Process

  • A distinguished judges’ board, which comprises respected persons with suitable knowledge, competence and experience in news media practice, investigative reporting and ethics shall adjudge the competition.
  • Every entry is coded to conceal media houses and reporter’s by-lines using the WSCIJ entry coding system before dispatch to judges.
  • Members of the judges’ board can only assess, score or vote on works to which they have no organisational or family ties.
  • All entries will undergo plagiarism test. Entries which fail the test will be disqualified.
  • Due to WSCIJ’s commitment to excellence,  a category may not have a finalist(s)  if the entries in such a category are adjudged to have fallen below expected standards.
  • The rigorous judging process uphold the integrity and reputation of the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting 2023. The judges reserve the rights to disqualify any piece of work and/or finalist if, in the judges’ opinion, there exists reasonable doubt about the authenticity and/or accuracy of the submitted entry and/or the integrity of the finalists based on the set criteria.
  • WSCIJ award recipients/winners (Soyinka Laureates, runners-up and commended works) are expected to be persons with high ethical and professional standards. The organisation reserves the rights to withdraw awards at any point in time based on the misconduct of an award recipient.

Deadline for Submission of Entries: 4pm Tuesday 24 October 2023

Email: [email protected] | Phone: +234-908-251-5179

For more Information: Visit the website for 18th Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting Applications

About Israel Wellington Jeremiah

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