The ICFJ Knight Fellowship in Nigeria

Over the last 12 months, the ICFJ Knight Fellowship in Nigeria has grown from one Knight to a team that is essentially a fact checking powerhouse. Africa’s most populous country is known for a lively and free-wheeling social media climate replete with rumours and false information.

The FactsMatterNg project engages Nigerian celebrities, humour and eye-catching videos and graphics to attract attention on social media. These techniques make the truth as compelling as fake news that can spread like wildfire on social media platforms.

Our project brings together influencers such as popular actress Kate Henshaw and Minister of Youth and Sports Sunday Dare to amplify fact checks and other content aimed at spreading truth.

Other influencers who have signed on to help spread accurate information and fight misinformation include three medical doctors, a leading investigative journalist and a human rights lawyer – all of whom have large, loyal followings on Twitter and Instagram. 

They work with four prominent media partners to amplify fact checks produced by the news organizations: Africa Check, Dubawa, TheCable and the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

The ICFJ Knight Nigeria Team

Hannah Ajakaiye

Ajakaiye is an award-winning journalist and data enthusiast with a passion for development and social justice issues. Her Knight fellowship builds on her previous work as an ICFJ TruthBuzz Fellow in 2019, when she worked with Africa Check and Daily Trust.  

She  is a recipient of the 2017 Newscorp Fellowship and an alumna of the U.S. Department of State Foreign Press Centres reporting tour on human trafficking. She is also a recipient of the 2018 Reham Al-Farra (RAF) Journalism Fellowship hosted by the United Nations. 

As a journalist, Ajakaiye worked for The Nation, Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper. A Chevening alumna, she holds a master’s degree from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, where she focused on Media Practice for Development and Social Change.

Rejoice Ewodage

Rejoice Ewodage is a Content Writer/ Producer in Lagos, Nigeria, with a passion for storytelling that brings about social change.

She has over six years of journalism experience and has gained expertise in news writing and reporting across various beats, having worked with one of the leading media organisations in Nigeria – Channels Television.

Rejoice also does Social Media Management and supports the ICFJ Knight Fellowship in Nigeria by promoting fact-check reports and other digital content across social media.

She is a graduate of Mass Communication from Babcock University.

The ICFJ Team

Maggie Farley

Maggie Farley

Director, ICFJ Knight Fellowships

As director of ICFJ’s flagship Knight Fellowships, Maggie Farley supports a global network of journalists who drive news innovation and experimentation worldwide.

Prior to joining ICFJ, Maggie has previous experience as a Los Angeles Times foreign correspondent, American University adjunct professor, and Google News Initiative Teaching Fellow. 

 She holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s degree from Harvard University in East Asian Studies. She has won the U.N. Correspondents’ Club, Gold Medal, for coverage of Darfur, and for the diplomatic wrangling before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

She is a member of the National Leadership Council of the News Literacy Project and co-developed a news judgment game called Factitious. 

Monica Lopez

Monica Lopez

Program Officer, ICFJ Knight Fellowships

Monica Lopez supports the ICFJ Knight Fellowships by providing financial and logistical support for the fellowships and helping to coordinate the review processes for the Knight International Journalism Awards.

She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelor’s degree in international studies and a business minor. She’s passionate about human rights, and concentrated on social justice issues in much of her coursework. She is a native speaker of Spanish.