As the co-founder and publisher of an online medium, Premium Times, Dapo Olorunyomi, is set to be honoured with the 2020 International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), President Muhammadu Buhari has described the feat as gratifying.
Olorunyomi, a veteran journalist, is one of the four winners of this year’s International Press Freedom Award.
A congratulatory message issued by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President, Buhari, on Saturday, said the honour attests to Olorunyomi’s many decades of commitment to the ideals of journalism and freedom of the press.
He urged Olorunyomi to use the award to rededicate himself to all that is noble, fair and just in journalism, noting that a responsible media is part of the building blocks of a country.
“Democracy and a free Press are kindred spirits, and that is what we have committed to as a government. It is, therefore, gratifying to hear of this award to one of our own,” Buhari said.
The President pledged that a free and responsible Press remains an abiding commitment of the Nigerian government, and urged the media to adhere to the finest tenets of the noble profession at all times.
Other awardees are Shahidul Alam from Bangladesh, Mohammad Mosaed (Iran) and Russian journalist, Svetlana Prokopyeva.
According to CPJ, all four awardees have been arrested or faced criminal prosecution in reprisal for their reporting.
The winners will be honored on November 19, 2020, at CPJ’s annual benefit gala, to be chaired this year by Patrick Gaspard, President of Open Society Foundations.
This year’s edition will be virtual due to the restrictions ocassioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers announced.