Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) and Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) have announced the names of six successful journalists in the inaugural Tobacco Control Investigative Journalism Fellowship funded by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK).

The Fellowship grant is part of CTFK’s efforts to build the capacity of the Nigerian media to report tobacco control from an informed perspective and stimulate policies and actions to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll. The Fellowship is also aimed at building and improving the public’s awareness on tobacco control and its related issues.

In a statement issued jointly in Lagos, the two groups said that entries from the successful journalists were picked after a rigorous screening process by a panel of veteran journalists.
The six journalists are: Godwin Haruna of ThisDay Newspaper,
Shina Fadare of National Mirror, Bashirat Abdulwahab –Olomada a freelance journalist and Enoghase Sylvester Osio Daily Independent. Others are Oyeyemi Oyedeji of The Nation and Emmanuel Ogala of Premium Times.

“We applaud the successful journalists for demonstrating willingness to go the extra mile in unearthing what the tobacco companies are ready to keep hidden from the public. This initiative is indeed timely and marks a turning point in tobacco control reporting in Nigeria,“ said ERA Director, Corporate Accountability & Administration, Akinbode Oluwafemi.
Auwal Rafsanjani of CISLAC said: “We congratulate the successful journalists whose story ideas were adjudged worthy of the grant. We now expect more reports on the tobacco industry tactics to undermine the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in their bid to addict young smokers”.

The CTFK-funded fellowship was announced on September 13, 2013, asking practicing journalists working with national print, electronic or online media organisations to send in story ideas revolving around the following issues/themes: Tobacco Farming, Tobacco & Health, Marketing of tobacco to minors, Tobacco Smuggling, Taxation, Tobacco Industry Corporate Social Responsibility, Tobacco Prevalence and National Tobacco Control Bill legislative Process.

Entry for the second round of the fellowship will open in November, 2013.

Philip Jakpor
Head of Media

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ERA has recently received information that a group calling itself the "Niger Delta Coalition in the Diaspora" is still engaging itself in activities and communications giving the impression that it is linked with Environmental Rights Action (ERA).

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