Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye, a Mandela Washington Fellow from Nigeria, recently received the 2014 Knight International Journalism Award by the United States-based International Centre for Journalism. This prestigious award recognizes outstanding news coverage that makes a difference in the lives of people around the world.
As the first and youngest female editor of PUNCH, a prominent newspaper in Lagos, Nigeria, Oluwatoyosi is an inspiration to the next generation of journalists. Her stories are not just award-winning—they have catalyzed positive change. She published a piece on infant mortality rates at a top hospital in Lagos that pressured the hospital to purchase more incubators for high-risk newborns. In another story, she revealed that a nuclear power plant was slated for construction in a neighborhood without the community’s approval. Soon after the story was published, residents mobilized and halted the pending construction.
Of the honor, she said, “I am humbled and happy to be the recipient of the prestigious award. I am glad that PUNCH, which has remained steadfast about excellent journalism, has received this global recognition. This would spur me to remain true to the ideals of journalism while I mentor others to do same.” In her 10-year career, Oluwatoyosi has received 25 awards including the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year Award in the Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) Health and Medical category. In 2011, she was awarded the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting, and in 2013, she was presented with the Nigerian Academy of Science Award and the Nobert Zongo Investigative Journalism Prize.
The impact of those investigative pieces, and many others, are chronicled in this article, which celebrates Oluwatoyosi’s accomplishments.