First Issued: 2006
Name Of Publisher: Omoyele Sowore
Sahara Reporters is an online news agency that focuses on promoting citizen journalism by encouraging everyday people to report stories about corruption, human rights abuses and other political misconduct in Nigeria.
Based in New York City, Sahara Reporters was founded in 2006 by Omoyele Sowore and has been referred to as the “Wikileaks of Africa” by The Daily Beast.
Sahara Reporters is supported by grants donated by the Ford Foundation which has donated $175,000 to the organization over the past two years. Sahara Reporters has also received a $450,000 grant from The Omidyar Foundation.
Since 2006, Sahara Reporters has published over 5,000 reports.
In December 2009, Sahara Reporters drew worldwide attention by being the first news source to identify and publish the photo of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, known more commonly as the “underwear bomber”, who is a suspected terrorist accused of attempting to blow-up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day by detonating a plastic bomb that exploded in his underwear.
Sahara Reporters has gained a large following both in Nigeria and amongst Nigerians abroad. Although Sahara Reporters report from New York and are protected by the First Amendment, both Omoyele Sowore and the organization have received various threats from individuals whose illegal activities have been exposed on the Sahara Reporters website, as well as the Nigerian government.