The prizes were presented at the Knight-Bagehot 47th anniversary gala dinner at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. The prize is awarded annually for an outstanding business story or series by an alumnus of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University.
It was instituted in the memory of Christopher J. Welles, a former director of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship. Welles was also a leading business writer from the 1960s to the 1980s, and he was known for his penetrating accounts of corporate abuse and misbehavior.
Dogbevi, who launched Ghana Business News in 2008, was cited for his stories on financial corruption in Ghana and exploitation of the country’s natural resources.
“Those stories are complicated, deep and difficult to pull off,” wrote one judge. “Going through a cache of financial documents and making sense of them is really tough. And Emmanuel is doing it under difficult circumstances, on a shoestring.”
Another judge praised Dogbevi’s “passion, resourcefulness and commitment” and noted that “several of our contestants can rely on well-funded organizations and all that comes with being part of a powerful media entity, like access, protection and publicity. This work stands alone for achieving impact under much tougher circumstances.”
Dogbevi, who is also the Executive director of the not-for-profit media organisation, NewsBridge Africa, and has been working as a journalist for 32 years, trains and mentors journalists across Africa.
“We are proud of how Emmanuel has used the skills he gained through the Knight-Bagehot programme in his relentless reporting on corruption in Ghana,” said Robert Smith, director of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship.
“Emmanuel Dogbevi’s reporting spans a wide range, and he does it on his own without the benefit of an institutional infrastructure. His commitment to finding the truth stayed strong even in the face of personal setbacks, including a 2020 office fire that destroyed his archives and equipment. His work stands as a model for the profession,” he added.
The email announcing the award says, “Your stories uphold the spirit of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship and demonstrate its lasting impact. We’re pleased to recognize them through this award,” the Ghana Business News reported.
There are joint winners for 2022 as the judges also singled out the Facebook stories of Dogbevi’s Knight-Bagehot Fellowship classmate Jeff Horwitz of The Wall Street Journal.
Horwitz was awarded the Welles Prize for his reporting on “The Facebook Files,” a series that dove into internal documents to reveal the company’s own research and awareness of the harms and dangers of its platform. The series “exposed the harm done by the company on a global scale,” wrote one judge. “Jeff found a whistleblower who helped provide the backbone of his explosive reporting and then drew world-wide attention when Congress held hearings based on her statements and Jeff’s reporting.”
“We have decided to issue two awards this year. You have both done such important work under different circumstances, and we wanted to acknowledge your respective accomplishments,” the organisers said.
The award-winning Ghanaian journalist was recently honoured by his alma mater, the University of Ghana for his “accomplishments” over the years.
Source: Daily Mail GH