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Nigeria gets First Emmy nomination

This week, the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the nominees for the 2019 News & Current Affairs categories. An entry from Nigeria is among the nominees from six countries, including Russia, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Sweden and Qatar. 

According to a statement by the Academy, the Emmys will be presented to winners in New York on September 24, at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. 

The Nigerian entry is the groundbreaking investigative documentary titled “Sweet Sweet Codeine”. Produced by BBC Africa Eye, reporters Ruona Meyer and Adejuwon Soyinka traversed different cities in Nigeria as they sought to find answers to the unregulated access to a cough syrup, the abundance of which had reached an alarming level of abuse.

First broadcast in the first half of 2018, the documentary implicated pharmaceutical companies and authorised marketers, and unsettled the government enough to take immediate control measures, including a ban of the drug. 

“The Current Affairs report covers the country’s devastating addiction to codeine cough syrup which reveals the horrors of an opioid crisis and exposes the corrupt forces behind it,” the statement announcing the nomination reads.

The nomination is a first for the BBC World Service and Nigeria.

“Broadcast journalists give a voice to those who are silenced and shine a light on what is hidden, as demonstrated in this year’s nominated programs,” said Bruce L. Paisner, President & CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. “I believe it is more than ever our collective responsibility to protect their work; and defend freedom of the press, one of the great bulwarks of liberty.”

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