Thursday, 20th December 2012
Fifteen journalists have been awarded funding under the Winter 2012 round of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund, run by Irish Aid, the Government’s programme of assistance to developing countries.
A total of €42,141 was awarded under the most recent round, which will see recipients travel to 15 different countries throughout the developing world, including: Ethiopia; Malawi; India; Ghana; and Vietnam, to complete their projects, which will be published / broadcast in a variety of Irish media outlets over the next 12 months.
Under the Fund, journalists are invited to submit proposals for coverage of a development issue, which will involve travel to a developing country. Two funding rounds – one in summer and one in winter – are held each year. A total of 30 project proposals were received for the 2012 winter round.
Among the topics covered by the 15 successful applicants were: the story of an Indian leprosy colony; the impact of the Syrian war on neighbouring Jordan; female empowerment in Rwanda; the strong and long-established links between Ireland and Zambia; and child trafficking in India.
The Simon Cumbers Media Fund was established by Irish Aid in memory of Irish journalist Simon Cumbers, who was killed in Saudi Arabia while working with the BBC in 2004. The aim of the Fund is to assist and promote more and better quality media coverage of development issues in the Irish media.
Following the announcement of successful applicants, Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello, TD said, “The media plays a crucial role in promoting public understanding of global issues. Coverage of developing countries tends to focus on news of conflict, of humanitarian disaster and of corruption. But there are also many positive stories to tell.
“The Simon Cumbers Media Fund provides an opportunity for journalists to travel to the developing countries and spend time talking to the people on the ground. With projects like those proposed by the most recent recipients of the Fund, the Irish media – and, indeed, the Irish public – have an opportunity to better understand the challenges communities in developing countries face; their hopes and plans, and progress being made. I wish all the recipients of the Winter 2012 round every success with their projects.”
Further information and a list of previous projects funded under the Simon Cumbers Media Fund are available at: www.simoncumbersmediafund.ie. The Fund also recently launched the 2012/13 Students Scheme which is currently calling for applications from all third-level students. The deadline for submission is Friday, 15th February 2012. Further details are available on http://simoncumbersmediafund.ie/index.php/students/.
CONTACT: Emily Kelly, DHR Communications, Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-9759248