On October 28, 2021, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded their Elevate Scholarship to 50 news media professionals around the world. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.
Joseph Jibueze is passionate about justice, and that is evident in every facet of his life. As deputy news editor and head of the legal news desk at The Nation newspaper in Nigeria, he has covered the justice sector for more than a decade.
“I began my career as a travel writer and sub-editor at the African Travel Quarterly,” Jibueze said. That position led to a job as a political reporter at the now-defunct National Mirror newspaper where, in less than a year, he was promoted to the position of correspondent and head of the commerce/industry desk.
Jibueze joined The Nation newspaper in 2008, starting as a correspondent covering the justice sector. He also coordinated the weekly Law section while leading a team of reporters. His work has not gone unnoticed:
He is a five-time Reporter of the Year in the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence (DAME) in Judicial Reporting and was named Newspaper Reporter of the Year at the 2015 Nigeria Media Merit Awards, which is the highest media award of excellence in the country. The following year, he was named the DAME Energy Reporter of the Year, and in 2020 he was the first runner-up in the Tax and Fiscal Policy Reporting category of the PWC Media Awards.
Just as his reporting has gained attention, so have his natural leadership abilities. He was named deputy news editor in 2019, and, working closely with the news editor and editor, he led a team of correspondents and stringers in providing nationwide reporting for The Nation. Now, he has received grants from the Thompson Reuters Foundation to report on illicit financial flows within the country. As his career progresses, he would like to become a publisher as well as a media entrepreneur.
“I would like to set up a not-for-profit media organisation that will be solely dedicated to producing investigative reports on corruption and injustices in Nigeria — especially within the criminal justice sector and the judiciary,” he said.
But Jibueze’s interest in justice reaches beyond the stories that he covers; he also wants to make a more welcoming and balanced newsroom environment:
“I can contribute to the inclusiveness of the news media industry by encouraging day-to-day interactions between employees, managers, leaders, teams, and peers because genuine inclusive workplace practices rely on leadership support and grassroots energy.”