Link will boost safety training for freelance journalists

TORONTO, June 29, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma is linking up with Britain's Rory Peck Trust to increase safety training opportunities for Canadian freelancers and other freelancers working for Canadian media, the two charities announced today.

Forum president Cliff Lonsdale said: "This is just the second year our Forum Freelance Fund has been able to provide bursaries to help freelancers attend hazardous environment safety courses. We're expecting to double the number of bursaries we awarded last year.  Working alongside The Rory Peck Trust means some of our bursary winners may receive additional help from them as well. It's an important development, because freelancers these days need all the help they can get."

The Rory Peck Trust, a UK-based charity, is the only organisation dedicated to the safety and welfare of freelance newsgatherers and their families around the world.  It was set up in 1995 in memory of Rory Peck, a freelance television cameraman killed while filming in Moscow two years earlier, and now operates in over 60 countries providing financial assistance, support and advice.

Tina Carr, director of The Rory Peck Trust, said: "We are delighted to be partnering with the CJFVT on this. The Forum Freelance Fund is an important initiative that has already benefitted Canadian freelancers. By working together we hope to increase the Fund's impact and enable more freelancers to receive this essential training."

Applications for bursaries from the Forum Freelance Fund this year will be shared with the Trust, so that applicants can also be considered for a further Safety Training Bursary under RPT's rules. 

Applications open July 1 and close on August 31, 2012.  Applications will be assessed by an independent panel which will include a representative of The Rory Peck Trust. Successful applicants for Forum Freelance Fund bursaries will be announced by September 17, 2012.

The 2012 competition will be divided into two streams and applicants must choose and indicate in their application which one they are applying for.

Applicants selecting stream A will contend for bursaries of up to $2,500 to attend week-long courses provided commercially by one of four approved course providers, up from two in 2011. While costs vary, these courses are longer and more expensive than the one in steam B. Courses are held on numerous dates throughout the year in the UK and USA.  Successful applicants must secure a place on the course of their choice within 6 months.

Applicants selecting stream B will contend for bursaries of up to $1,000 to attend a special 3-day course for freelancers at Columbia Journalism School, in New York, from October 19-21, 2012. This course has significantly lower fees. Successful applicants must also be accepted by Columbia. 

Course providers in each stream will offer discounts of at least 5% on published fees, the benefit of which will be given to bursary winners.

Bursaries from RPT may be available to applicants in both streams, at the discretion of the Trust. No separate application is required. Assistance from RPT can be applied to course fees only.  Bursaries from the Forum Freelance Fund may be applied to course fees, travel and accommodation costs.  The Forum Freelance Fund may set a maximum for travel and accommodation costs in its sole discretion on a case-by-case basis. 

Recipients of bursaries from The Rory Peck Trust must comply with all of RPT's conditions. Granted RPT bursaries will not be channelled through the Forum Freelance Fund.

The Forum Freelance Fund is sponsored by CBC News and supported by Radio-Canada, CNW Group, Mcintosh Media and individual donations.

Further details of the Forum Freelance Fund are available on the Forum's website:

SOURCE Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma

For further information:

Media contacts:

Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma:  Jane Hawkes, Executive Producer, 1 519 473 6434,

The Rory Peck Trust:  Molly Clarke, Head of Communications, +44 (0) 203 219 7861,


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