University of Leicester eBulletin

Leicester Student Wins International Press Award

June 2003
No 172

A University of Leicester student has been acclaimed African Journalist of the Year 2003 and received first prize for Environmental reporting at a CNN award ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Ibiba Don Pedro was one of 13 finalists from nine African countries nominated for the African Journalist of the Year Awards.

Ibiba, who is studying for a masters degree in Mass Communications at the University, has worked as a journalist covering environmental issues, politics and human rights on the Features Desk of The Guardian, in Lagos, Nigeria. Ibiba still writes a column for New Age in Lagos, while pursuing postgraduate studies at Leicester.

The CNN African Journalist of the Year Award is an annual event mounted by CNN International, to honour journalists and broadcasters working for Africa-based media organisations who have produced outstanding stories.

Every year twelve (this year 13 with the inclusion of a prize for reporting on tourism sponsored by South African Airways) journalists are chosen in a number of categories, including politics, human rights, environment, tourism, business and sports.  

Ibiba commented: “Every finalist is already a winner in one category, and for many it has been a way of getting critical recognition for what is mostly lonely and often dangerous work. My field has been reporting the environment, human rights and issues of development in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger delta area.  

“Over 1,000 entries were received from journalists from 32 African countries for the awards event which is the most prestigious on the continent.

“To add to it all, the finalists had breakfast with Nelson Mandela at the five-star Westcliffe Hotel in Johannesburg on Wednesday, June 18 and I was chosen to present him with a media award.”       

NOTE TO EDITORS:  More information is available from Ibiba Don Pedro, email

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