Nigeria’s foremost investigative newspaper, PREMIUM TIMES, has called on the public to be a part of its membership programme by making a “modest donation” for the sustainability of its fearless journalism.
Dapo Olorunyomi, the publisher, made the call in a note to the newspaper’s teeming readers and friends, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit hard on both the public and private sector, including the media.
“As anxiety grows and the future appears foggy, the nation’s need for crucial, up-to-the-minute, accurate, and reliable information has not been more urgent,” Mr Olorunyomi said.
“Such extraordinary times call for a redoubtable media, unwavering in its editorial independence, integrity and commitment, yet steeped in the best ideals of professional ethics.”
Mr Olorunyomi said with the economic downturn further complicated by the COVID-19 crisis, the Nigeria media is currently facing an existential threat of “unimaginable proportion.”
“Massive layoffs, pay cuts, bruised morale and, invariably, accommodation and compromises defining a new norm of professional vulnerability elect a rare platform like PREMIUM TIMES to man the barricades and lead the charge to defend the truth, citizens’ liberties and the challenge of democracy,” he said.
Founded in 2011, PREMIUM TIMES has grown to become one of the most respected and reliable news media in Africa, harvesting a basket of awards and recognitions along the way.
In addition to a Pulitzer (which it shares with ICIJ colleagues who worked on the Panama Papers), the Global Shining Light Award, and the One World Award; the newspaper’s journalists have also carted home other numerous local, national, and international awards in the platform’s less-than-a-decade of operation.
Last April, the famed Nobel laureate in economics, Joseph Stiglitz, announced PREMIUM TIMES’ editor-in-chief, Musikilu Mojeed, as one of his favourite journalists in the world, reinforcing the newspaper’s reputation for delivering quality, verifiable, and courageous journalism.
But good journalism costs money, Mr Olorunyomi said.
“This is why we call on you now to kindly accept membership of a noble community that invests a modest donation to the making and sustainability of our accountability and fearless journalism that will defend our security through incisive and diligent investigations while holding power accountable at all times and standing as a tribune against the growth of autocracy in the land,” he added.