NIGERIAN journalist Ms. Ruona Agbroko has been awarded the FitzGerald Prize for Young African Journalists for 2010, according to a media release.

Ruona will be completing an honours course in Journalism at Wits University in Johannesburg this year before joining a Reuters bureau for an internship.

The prestigious Fitzgerald Prize was established to give opportunities to young African journalists who have already shown great promise. It was set up in the name of Niall FitzGerald, co-Deputy Chairman of Thomson Reuters, who has a long association with Africa, having served as CEO of Unilever foods business in South Africa in the early 1980s. He also co-chairs the Investment Climate Facility (ICF) for Africa.

The prize drew applications from across Africa and Ms. Agbroko won against tough competition.

The 28 year-old works for Nigeria’s ground breaking independent newspaper, NEXT, and has produced outstanding reporting on difficult subjects. Her father, a journalist who proudly defended editorial independence despite pressures from many quarters, was murdered in 2006.

“I am really grateful to have this opportunity. It has changed my life just to go this far,” Ruona said.

“It is proof that practicing transparency in journalism is not a lost cause. My father was killed for his work as a journalist and this is a huge thing for me to have this chance.”

Malawian journalist Olivia Kumwenda, who won the inaugural FitzGerald prize, has now begun her internship with the Reuters bureau in Johannesburg.


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