The Simon Cumbers Media Fund is now seeking proposals from journalists and photographers who are interested in travelling to a developing country to report for an Irish media outlet on the realities of contemporary life there. For this round, the Fund is particularly interested in proposals that relate to the topic of climate action. However, all development-focused proposals will be considered.
Supported by Irish Aid, the Government’s overseas aid programme, the Fund enables journalists to report on stories that otherwise would not be told to Irish audiences. It was set up in memory of Irish journalist and cameraman Simon Cumbers, who was killed while on assignment in Saudi Arabia in 2004.
Applicants must clearly demonstrate the relevance of their proposed project to one or more of the priorities set out in A Better World, Ireland’s Policy for International Development. Proposals should also relate to international development themes, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Applications will be assessed by the judging panel against criteria that includes the potential of the project to increase awareness and understanding of international development issues in Ireland, as well as the potential reach of the project.
Commenting, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon TD said: “The winter 2019 round of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund is now open to local and national media professionals working across broadcast, print and digital outlets. In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent global community, the Fund plays an essential role in relaying stories of human experience to an Irish audience. In exploring and documenting the challenges and opportunities facing people in developing countries, as well as the endeavour and resilience they demonstrate, recipients of the Fund broaden and enrich our understanding of the world around us.
“The Fund provides media professionals with an opportunity to expand on their journalistic practice and travel to the developing world to report on a topic of their choice. In particular, in keeping with the priorities set out in A Better World, I would encourage prospective applicants to consider the wide-ranging issue of climate action as the theme of their project proposal for this round, especially as it relates to their preferred area of journalistic interest, be that trade, gender, sport, fashion or agriculture, for instance.
“Climate change is the defining global issue of our times. The impact of climate change and environmental degradation is being felt more intensely in poor countries and by poor communities, further undermining their ability to move themselves out of poverty. In that context, proposals that look at the interconnections between climate change and other development concerns are strongly encouraged. Given the urgency of the topic of climate change, and how those beyond our shores are often the most acutely affected, it is crucial that it is kept front of mind for an Irish audience”.
An information session will be held at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Iveagh House, 80 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 on Tuesday, 1st October 2019 from 10am to 12pm. Media professionals who wish to attend should register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Dublin Information Session” in the subject line.
The deadline for the submission of proposals is Wednesday, 30th October 2019. For more information about the Simon Cumbers Media Fund and the winter 2019 funding round, see www.simoncumbersmediafund.ie. Work completed by Fund recipients, along with a list of research resources, can also be found on the site.