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Simon Cumbers Media Fund seeks to harness budding journalists’ interest in development issues by facilitating assignment to Africa and Vietnam
DHR News, Featured, Simon Cumbers Media Fund | 20th February 2018

 PRESS RELEASE

Monday, 19th February 2018

Simon Cumbers Media Fund seeks to harness budding journalists’ interest in development issues by facilitating assignment to Africa and Vietnam

Student Scheme open to third level students from all faculties

The Simon Cumbers Media Fund is now seeking applications from third level students interested in reporting on development issues for a national media outlet. The Student Scheme is teaming up with Newstalk and TheJournal.ie to offer two students the opportunity to work with experienced journalists to develop their story proposals and then to report from one of Irish Aid’s key partner countries.

Supported by Irish Aid at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Simon Cumbers Media Fund Student Scheme aims to enhance students’ understanding of the developing world. Previous recipients have reported on topics such as family planning and sexual health in Ethiopia and the fight against leprosy in Tanzania.

Commenting, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon TD said: “I am delighted to launch the Simon Cumbers Media Fund Student Scheme 2018. This fantastic initiative has provided invaluable experience to student journalists. Successful applicants not only get to travel on assignment to report on wide-ranging topics, but they also get to develop their skills through mentorship from accomplished journalists. The students offer a fresh perspective on development issues and the Scheme brings a range of interesting stories to a broad audience through our partnership with Newstalk and TheJournal.ie.”

He added: “While this is an ideal opportunity for student journalists to apply their developing journalistic skills, we are more than happy to hear from students from other disciplines who are interested in exploring development issues.”

Student Scheme judge and former RTÉ broadcaster, Rodney Rice said: “The Student Scheme presents students with a real-world experience of reporting on assignment from one of Irish Aid’s partner countries. The initiative facilitates personal development in addition to journalistic development. For some, it will represent an important first step in their career as a journalist and for others it will provide the opportunity to explore journalistically a topic in which they are interested.

“Applicants do not need to be studying a media related course, however, a strong applicant will display journalistic flair in their sample work and will have identified a unique angle to pursue in their project, one that recognises and understands development issues as distinctly human issues.”

Applications to the Student Scheme must be submitted online through the Simon Cumbers Media Fund website by Wednesday, 28th March 2018. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend for interview with the mentors and a representative from the Department of Foreign Affairs. Full details of the scheme are available at: www.simoncumbersmediafund.ie/students.

ENDS

Contact: Joanne Ahern, DHR Communications, Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-9881837.

Notes to Editors:

  • Eligible Irish Aid key partner countries are: Ethiopia; Malawi; Mozambique; Sierra Leone; Tanzania; Uganda; Vietnam and Zambia.
  • The Simon Cumbers Media Fund was set up by Irish Aid in 2005 in memory of Irish journalist and cameraman, Simon Cumbers. The aim of the Fund is to assist and promote more and better quality coverage of development issues in the Irish media. It offers grants to media professionals in two funding rounds each year.
  • The Simon Cumbers Media Fund Student Scheme was set up in 2011 and is open to third level students across the country from all disciplines.
  • A showcase of projects produced by applicants for the Simon Cumbers Media Fund can be found on the website.
  • Irish Aid is the Irish Government’s overseas development assistance programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.