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.
Nearly 50 people have been trained during the first four years of the scheme.
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
We have limited funding for this bursary scheme from the Lorana Sullivan UK Foundation and the Lyra McKee family for the 2023 bursary scheme.
We want to train as many people as possible.
That is why we are asking you to support the #CIJLyraMckee bursary scheme 2023.
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.
In 2023 our trainees applied for work/further study and are now doing paid shifts at The Belfast Telegraph and The Scottish Sun; another trainee secured a position of an Apprentice Reporter at The Northern Echo; one trainee received a bursary to attend IRE AccessFest23 (US’s data journalism training); another is pursuing the NCTJ Level 5 Diploma (and struggling with shorthand!) and received funding from the Journalism Diversity Fund to study at City University.
In 2022 #CIJLyraMcKee Francesca Hughes’ pitch to the editors, about the price difference of university accommodation for the able bodied and disabled students was commissioned by one of the editors Ramzy Alwakeel, and was published by openDemocracy.
Reece Stafferton co-founded a media co-operative in Leicester – Great Central Gazette. Based on The Bristol Cable model, the cooperative promises “slow, quality news created with sensitivity, calm and care.”
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 2023:
Stormont pays out more than £6m on empty buildings and disused land by Flávia Gouveia. The Belfast Telegraph. 2 January 2024.
This is the story Flavia was working on during her training as part of the CIJ Lyra McKee Bursary Scheme and it made hers (and CIJ Lyra McKee scheme’s!) first front page.
Stories by #CIJLyraMcKee class of 2022:
Universities ‘illegally hitting disabled students with extra housing costs by Francesca Hughes. openDemocracy. 9 November 2022.
Stories by #CIJLyraMcKee class of 2021:
Should I Tell You I am Trans? A BBC Scotland short documentary by Jax Sinclair. Jax was
nominated for young journalist of the year 2022 by RTS Scotland.
Disclosure. The Truth about BrewDog. by Mark Daly. Researchers: Jax Sinclair (CIJ Lyra MCKee Alumnus) and Katie McEvinney. Disclosure. BBC Scotland. 24 January 2022. (Available for the viewers in the UK only).
‘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.
Coronavirus: Scottish Student on Life in South Korea During the Pandemic. By Jax Sinclair for BBC Scotland. 29 May 2020.
CIJ Lyra McKee Alumni News:
Jax Sinclair (CIJ Lyra MCKee 2021) pursued the story that they pitched to the CIJ Lyra McKee friendly editors: Should I Tell You I am Trans? In the end, it was commissioned as a short documentary by BBC Scotland. As a result, Jax was nominated for young journalist of the year 2022 by RTS Scotland. The documentary is available on BBC iPlayer.
Rachel Keenan (CIJ Lyra McKee 2022) received the Scott Trust Bursary at Goldsmiths.
Francesca Hughes (CIJ Lyra McKee 2022) interned at FT Weekend Magazine for three months as an editorial assistant, her primary responsibility was fact checking. She was also recently accepted onto the NCTJ Diploma course with Ability Today.
Rhys Everquill (né Reece Stafferton, CIJ Lyra McKee 2022) now runs a community newspaper in Leicester.
Darcie Rawlings (CIJ Lyra McKee 2023) started working as an Apprentice Reporter for The Northern Echo.
“I think it is great for the CV. It is well recognised and quality training. It gives a great start for journalists in the industry and gives niche training not available elsewhere.”
“My expectations were exceeded. Beforehand I thought it would have been paid-for training sessions but it was so, so, so much more. The mentoring and on-hand support was invaluable.”
“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 #CIJLyraMcKee scheme was one of the best things I did last year!
Aswell as training in investigative journalism, inc data journalism & FOIs, I got to meet some great ppl and received guidance from top journos!
The scheme runs every year and is great for aspiring journos! https://t.co/kw9YhiP2MG
— Flávia Gouveia (@flaviasgouveia) January 9, 2024
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.
We are delighted to announce that we received confirmation of funding for the CIJ Lyra McKee Investigative Journalism Training and Mentoring Scheme from the Lorana Sullivan Foundation for the next three years. This is in addition to the funds given to the scheme by Lyra’s family. The applications for the #CIJLyraMcKee Bursary Scheme 2024 are […]
Applications for the 2022 #CIJLyraMcKee Investigative Journalism Training and Mentoring Bursary Scheme are now closed. #CIJLyraMcKee Bursary Scheme: #CIJLyraMcKee 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.
#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.