LONDON, ON, May 15, 2014 /CNW/ - The Forum Freelance Fund is ready to
double the number of conflict training bursaries it will award to
Canadian freelance journalists this year in response to increased risks
to their safety.
"The death of Ali Moustafa, a twenty-nine-year-old Canadian freelance
photographer, in Aleppo, Syria in March was another terrible reminder
that our industry is increasingly relying on freelancers while the
risks to them are mounting as never before," said Cliff Lonsdale,
president of the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma.
The Forum is allocating extra resources this year to the fund, which
provides access to approved hazardous environment training courses for
Canadian freelancers and freelancers of other nationalities who file to
"These are funds we raised for general purposes," Lonsdale said. "We're
going to add them to the freelance fund because helping to train three
or four of the most urgent cases each year just isn't enough."
The Forum Freelance Fund (FFF) is sponsored by CBC News and supported by
Radio-Canada and Canada News Wire, as well as by individual donations.
It has awarded 9 bursaries of up to $2,500 each in the first three
years of its operation.
"We've helped some amazingly brave and talented people - mostly quite
young - but there are so many more out there," Lonsdale added. "All
Canadian media organizations should be interested in helping to
mitigate the risks being taken on their behalf by freelancers in
dangerous places around the world. The Forum Freelance Fund provides an
opportunity to do that in a way even the most hard-pressed employers
can afford. This is no time to be narrowly competitive, or whatever
else makes the news organizations using freelancers hold back. If we
act together, we can make a real difference."
The FFF has also brought its 2014 bursary competition forward. Entries
are open now and will close at the end of June. Full application
details are available on the Forum's new website: www.journalismforum.ca . Applications can now be made online. They close on June 30, 2014.
Bringing the competition forward by about six weeks gives winners
longer to make their course arrangements.
For the third year, the FFF is co-operating with UK-based Rory Peck
Trust (RPT), a charity dedicated to helping freelance journalists
worldwide. The arrangement gives RPT a seat on FFF's independent jury
and has put some recent FFF applicants in line for additional
The 2013 winners of Forum Freelance Fund bursaries, chosen by an
independent panel, were:
Iris Makler, who freelances from Jerusalem for CBC News and others, and was one of
the first correspondents to enter Afghanistan after 9/11.
Varérian Mazataud, a Montreal-based photojournalist who has most recently been covering
the outpouring of refugees into the countries surrounding Syria.
Daniel Otis, a University of Toronto and UBC graduate who has been filing from
Cambodia and Myanmar for the Globe & Mail , the Toronto Star and others
for more than two years, without any formal journalism training.
Two of last year's winners opted for a special conflict reporting course
for freelancers and others held each October at the Columbia Journalism
School in New York, and one attended a commercial safety training
course in the UK.
SOURCE: Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma
For further information:
Jane Hawkes, Executive Producer, Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma. (519) 473-6434 firstname.lastname@example.org