The founding Editor-in-Chief of The Fourth Estate, Manasseh Azure Awuni, has been selected for the prestigious Nieman Foundation for Journalism fellowship at Harvard University.
Mr. Awuni is among 24 journalists selected globally to benefit from this one-year opportunity at Harvard.
“In the two semesters of study at Harvard, the fellows will examine the growing threats to democracy and the free press; the use of AI in reporting; innovations in storytelling; political polarization; trauma; climate destabilization; scientific advances in health care; reporting under repressive regimes; solutions journalism; media trust; and journalism collaboration,” a statement announcing the 2024 Class of Nieman Fellows said.
This fellowship is a highly competitive opportunity that attracts some of the world’s best journalists. It is therefore a recognition of Mr. Awuni’s exceptional contribution to journalism. While at Harvard, he will participate in seminars, workshops, training sessions, and collaborations with Harvard scholars and leading innovators.
Being the fourth Ghanaian to be selected for this fellowship, Manasseh Azure Awuni’s project at Harvard will focus on sustainable funding and managerial models for non-profit newsrooms in Africa.
“I feel honored to be selected for this prestigious fellowship. The benefits that come with the opportunity to learn and also network with some of the finest professionals in journalism across the world are enormous,” he said.
As the founding Editor-In-Chief of The Fourth Estate, Mr. Awuni has trained and led a team of dedicated and enterprising journalists who focus on human rights, environments, anti-corruption, and health reporting.
For the past two years, The Fourth Estate has produced stories that have led to the arrest of eight persons who are currently facing trial for their role in the school placement fraud, an asset declaration series that made 294 public officeholders declare their assets and liabilities, the arrest of a predatory ‘doctor’ who used his office to abuse patients, and the suspension of some officers at a Rural Bank in Bongo in the Upper East Region for their role in suspicious transactions at the Bank.
Prior to his role at The Fourth Estate, Manasseh Azure Awuni had worked at the Multimedia Group as an investigative journalist. He won the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Journalist of the Year in 2011. He has produced some of the most impactful investigative anti-corruption stories that resulted in the prosecution of and imprisonment of public officials, the passage of a law by Ghana’s parliament and savings worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
In 2021, the Ghana Integrity Initiative, the local chapter of Transparency International, adjudged Manasseh Ghana’s Integrity Personality of the Year for his role in fighting corruption in the country. In 2022, he was nominated for the Allied Prize for International Integrity.
As part of the numerous journalism awards to his credit, Manasseh Azure Awuni was the overall best journalist in 2018 and 2020 at the West Africa Media Excellence Awards (WAMECA).
The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard “educates leaders in journalism, promotes innovation, and elevates the standards of the journalism profession” and it is hoped that Manasseh’s career will be greatly enhanced by the opportunity.
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