Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Fourth Round of Fund to Promote Investigative Journalism Launched

Details of the fourth round of the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund have been announced today (24.03.2014).

Journalists are invited to submit proposals for investigations that seek to service the public interest. The objective of the journalist should be to identify areas of information relating to a public interest matter that has not yet been brought to light. The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, 20th June at 5pm.

Applications are welcome from both staff and freelance journalists from all strands of the media as well as ‘starter’ journalists with less than two years’ experience. Up to €40,000 will be available for allocation in each round. The maximum payable to any applicant will be €18,000.

All applications will be considered and awards made by a panel of independent judges. The panel will be chaired by journalist Olivia O’Leary. Other members of the panel are Colm Tóibín, author and journalist; Conor Brady, former editor of The Irish Times; Dr. Mary Corcoran, Professor of Sociology at NUI Maynooth; and Sheila Ahern, researcher and former colleague of Mary Raftery.

The Mary Raftery Journalism Fund was created as a result of an initiative by the family and friends of investigative journalist Mary Raftery, who died in January 2012. The aim of the fund is to promote more in-depth investigative coverage of issues close to Mary’s heart.

Of all the work Mary Raftery completed in her career, she is best known for ‘States of Fear’, a 1999 documentary series that presented the public with evidence of the physical and sexual abuse of children in residential care institutions in Ireland. The series is credited with leading to the establishment of the Ryan Commission of Inquiry into child sex abuse and the setting up of the Residential Institutions Redress Board.

There were three Awards rounds in 2012 and 2013 under the themes mental health, migrant issues and children’s rights. Awards totalling over €115,000 were made to 25 successful journalists from all strands of media. Successful projects included ‘Mental Health Care in the Community’ by Irish Times chief reporter Carl O’Brien; ‘Questionable Consent: Migrant Sex Work in Ireland’ by The Live Register production team on Dublin Community Television and ‘Sex education in Irish schools - What are children being taught?’ by freelance journalist, Peter Maguire.

Full details of the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund are available at www.maryrafteryfund.ie including examples of successful projects from previous rounds. An information session for prospective applicants to the fund will take place on Friday, 25th April in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8. Places are limited. To register, please email info@maryrafteryfund.ie.