LONDON, ON, May 23, 2017 /CNW/ - Four independent journalists working in dangerous places for Canadian media organizations have won bursaries of $2,500 each from the Forum Freelance Fund (FFF) to help them take hostile environment safety training courses.
The winners were chosen by an independent jury, giving priority to applicants with the most urgent need.
The FFF bursary competition is run annually by the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, an educational charity concerned with the physical and mental wellbeing of journalists. The new awards bring the number of freelancers it has helped with safety training to 27.
Adrienne Surprenant is a photojournalist from Montreal now based in Cameroon and Somalia, working for European and Canadian media. She is preparing to report from conflict zones in south-central Somalia.
Jasmin Lavoie is a Canadian journalist based in Islamabad, Pakistan. Some of his work for Canadian and international media takes him to the dangerous Pakistan/Afghanistan border region.
Annie Sakkab is a Canadian-Palestinian photojournalist, based in Toronto, who is often assigned to work in the Middle East. She has an upcoming assignment for The Globe and Mail in Gaza, after which she intends to live and work temporarily in the West Bank and Israel. She also expects to undertake assignments eventually in Syria.
Bruce Harrison is an American who has been freelancing out of Seoul, South Korea, for five years. His work is often heard on CBC Radio. Recently he covered street violence resulting from the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye and reported from Kuala Lumpur on the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, brother of the North Korean leader. With tensions rising in the Korean peninsula, he is preparing for any contingency.
Forum President Cliff Lonsdale commented: "The jury's choice of the 2017 bursary winners reflects the Forum's philosophy. We don't encourage freelancers to put themselves at risk. Rather, we want to help them prepare for what might confront them at any time. Unfortunately, the need for this kind of training just keeps growing."
In a separate competition closing June 15th, the Forum also offers The Portenier Human Rights Bursary, which is open to freelance journalists and independent documentary-makers of any nationality with significant, viable projects focused on human rights abuses. This bursary of $CDN 3,000 is also for hostile environment training.
Both competitions are run in association with the Rory Peck Trust (RPT), a UK-based charity for freelancers. The Forum and RPT are both members of the ACOS Alliance, an unprecedented coalition of news organizations, freelance journalist associations and press freedom organizations working together to champion safe and responsible journalistic practices for freelance and local journalists.
The FFF bursaries are sponsored by CBC News and supported by Radio-Canada, CNW Group and individual donors. The Forum in general is supported by The Globe and Mail.
Our thanks to CNW Group for supporting this announcement.
SOURCE Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma
For further information: Please see the Canadian Journalism Forum website http://www.journalismforum.ca or contact Jane Hawkes, Executive Producer, Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, 1-519 852-4946, [email protected]