The aim of this bursary scheme is to train people from underprivileged backgrounds, who aspire to become journalists or who are journalists at the very early stages of their career.
We knew Lyra personally at the CIJ. She attended #CIJSummer Conferences and training in London and Dublin.
The Lyra McKee Journalism Training Bursary was inspired by Lyra’s determination to become an investigative journalist: despite personal disability, the need to care for her disabled mother as well as fighting the in-built bias against working-class entrants to journalism.
It was launched in 2019, we skipped 2020 and re-started it in 2021 fully online with the addition of a 6 months mentoring programme.
11 people attended #CIJSummer Conference 2019
11 people participated in the 2021 bursary scheme: training at #CIJSummer and receiving mentoring between May and November.
We especially welcome applications from people of colour, people from poorer backgrounds, people with disabilities, carers, members of the LGBTQ+ community, travellers and anyone who cannot afford to pay for the #CIJSummer training. It is open to UK and republic of Ireland residents only. Applicants must be 18 years old.
Support #CIJLyraMcKee Bursary Scheme
While we have limited funding for this bursary scheme from the Lorana Sullivan UK Foundation and the Lyra McKee Foundation.
At the moment, we have enough funding to train 10-11 people, if the programme is fully online. However, Covid permitting, if the trainees are to attend #CIJSummer Conference 2022 in person, the funding will only cover 7-8 bursaries.
We want to train as many people as possible.
All the money raised will go towards bursaries and will enable us to offer more places to candidates. Please donate here.
Why support #CIJLyraMcKee?
The programme is very successful in helping the trainees get into the industry.
The class of 2021 with the support from the mentors, secured positions at BBC Scotland Disclosure team, The Times, Deutsche Welle, and BBC Humberside. Three enrolled in an NCTJ course and one trainee got a place on the BBC Future Voices Scheme for bilingual reporters. Cherise Hamilton won Gold for The Creativity Award and Bronze for Best Current Affairs Podcast from Brit Pod Awards 2021.
Stories by #CIJLyraMcKee class of 2021:
‘Study drugs’ rife at leading universities by Dominic Kennedy, Arthi Nachiappan, Matthew Kayanja for The Times. 27 December 2021. (Paywall).
Housing Doesn’t Meet ‘Basic Human Rights’ Say Mitcham Residents Asked to Pay Repair Bill by Matthew Kayanja for SWLondoner. 29 November 2021
Cladding scandal: 93 buildings in Hackney deemed high risk by Charissa Cheong in the Hackney Gazette. 29 October 2021.
Data at First Sight: Telling the human story through numbers by Fatima Hudoon for exposingtheinvisible.org. 20 October 2021.
“I think the scheme is invaluable and one of the best opportunities I have had in the industry. It helped me network with other journalists, develop my data skills, and attend the CIJ Summer Conference. I now feel better equipped to continue pursuing a career in journalism.”
“I think it’s a really helpful scheme that genuinely wants to equip people with the skills to further themselves. The addition of mentoring felt vital to me. I’ve been for job interviews where the interviewer was very impressed with the fact I was on the scheme, so it’s given me opportunities to impress people and a boost for my CV. I’ve enjoyed it all. Thanks so much. “
“I had previously thought that being an investigative journalist was a far off dream career that I didn’t really understand or know how to pursue. […] I felt encouraged by the feeling of belonging to a collective of people who all had the shared belief and desire to hold power to account.”
“The experience blew my mind!”
About #CIJLyra McKee in the media:
- BBC Radio Humberside (Hull). David Burns Show. (from 2hrs 24mins in). 25 February 2020.
- BBC Radio Humberside (Hull). No-Filter with Kofi Smiles. (From 1hr 2mins in). 17 February 2020.
- CIJ Director James Harkin speaks to NVTV, local TV for Belfast, The Round-Up Programme. 11 February 2020.
- Bursary for Young Journalists will Keep Lyra McKee’s Memory Alive, Says Sister. By David Young for Belfast Telegraph. 6 February 2020. (Paywall).
- Centre for Investigative Journalism sets up training bursary in honour of Lyra McKee by Press Gazette. 20 May 2019.
- New training bursary to support young investigative journalists launched in memory of Lyra McKee by journalism.co.uk. 21 May 2019.
- Here is how to make the media fit for modern Britain. By Roy Greenslade for the Guardian. 7 July 2019.
#CIJ Lyra McKee Investigative Journalism Training and Mentoring Scheme 2021 is now over. Fully online, it was open to applicants over 18 from the UK and the Republic of Ireland only. The CIJ Lyra McKee Investigative Journalism Training Bursary Scheme was established in memory of a young and courageous Irish investigative journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot dead by dissident republicans in Derry in April 2019.