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Dapo Olorunyomi, ICIJ board member, lauded for defending press freedom

The Nigerian journalist and publisher was awarded the International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Nigerian journalist, publisher and board member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Dapo Olorunyomi, was honored last night with a global award that recognizes journalists who embody the highest standards of courage and professionalism.

The International Press Freedom Award, organized by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, recognized Olorunyomi for his dedication to accountability, advocacy for freedom of the press and his groundbreaking contribution to investigative journalism in Africa’s most populous country.

CPJ also honored Bangladeshi photojournalist Shahidul Alam, Iranian reporter Mohammad Mosaed and Russian correspondent Svetlana Prokopyeva.

Olorunyomi is the co-founder, CEO and publisher of Premium Times, a leading online Nigerian news outlet. Premium Times is a longstanding ICIJ partner and has led Nigerian coverage on major investigations, including the Panama Papers, Paradise Papers and FinCEN Files.

Olorunyomi left Nigeria in 1996 after death threats related to his relentless reporting on the dictatorship of General Sani Abacha. Under his watch, Premium Times has broken countless stories in the public interest, which have drawn the ire of officials and led to raids and arrests of other brave Nigerian journalists.

“The state of press freedom in Africa today is abysmal and extremely frightening,” Olorunyomi told CPJ in a video aired during the online ceremony. “For societies like ours, the press is the only hope for the possibility of an opposition.”

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