Call For: Applications for Funding – Media Invited to Apply for Fund to Cover Development Stories

Illustration: Adeline Pericart

Media projects which promote a positive image of Africa or which deal with climate change will be prioritised in this year’s Simon Cumbers Media Fund. Details of the 2012 funding rounds were announced today at the Irish Aid Volunteering and Information Centre in Dublin.

The Simon Cumbers Media Fund was established by Irish Aid to raise public understanding of global development issues by increasing quality media coverage of the developing world. It was named in memory of Irish journalist Simon Cumbers, who was killed in Saudi Arabia while working with the BBC in 2004.

Under the fund, journalists are invited to submit proposals for coverage of a development issue, which involves travel to a developing country. The deadline for the 2012 summer round of funding is Friday, 4th May.

Speaking at today’s launch, Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD said: ‘The time is ripe for all of us to take a fresh look at Africa. While we will not ignore the challenges that exist, it is important that we hear the stories of hope, enterprise, good governance and sound development policies that are reshaping the continent. The media has a key role to play in this effort.

‘Africa is a dynamic and vibrant continent, where growth rates in many countries reached seven per cent over the last five years. While it is important to recognise that much of this growth is from a low base – and that it is unevenly spread – it is clear that Africa is emerging as the continent of the future. I think the Irish public would like to hear more of the progress that is being achieved by governments and communities in the developing world, often working in partnership with donors including Ireland,’ he said.

Minister Costello set out the themes that will be favoured by the judges of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund in the forthcoming summer round: ‘In addition to challenging stereotypes of Africa, judges will favour projects which deal with climate change. This is one of the biggest challenges facing the world right now. Climate change particularly threatens the lives and livelihoods of the poorest people in the world’s least developed countries.

‘If the world does not take action, then many of the precious gains we have built together over the last decades are in danger of being lost. Without urgent action, an additional 90 million people could be driven into extreme poverty by 2050. The media’s role in highlighting the impact of climate change is vital in supporting governments, NGOs and local communities to raise awareness and drive action to tackle climate change.’

Under the Simon Cumbers Media Fund, journalists whose applications are successful are supported with travel, accommodation and ancillary costs associated with travelling abroad to report on development issues. The Fund invites applicants from all media disciplines, including news, features, sport, business and lifestyle. It also welcomes applications from across media platforms, including print, broadcast, online and photography, or a combination of platforms.

Full details on how to apply to the Fund are available at: www.simoncumbersmediafund.ie

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Call for Media Proposals to Support Coverage of Development Issues

Call for Media Proposals to Support Coverage of Development Issues

Media professionals are now invited to apply for funding under the winter round of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund, an initiative of Irish Aid aimed at increasing public understanding of global development issues.

The Simon Cumbers Media Fund was established in memory of the late Irish journalist Simon Cumbers, who was killed in Saudi Arabia while working with the BBC in 2004. The aim of the Fund is to promote more and better quality coverage of development issues in the Irish media and, by extension, to promote a greater understanding of the work of Irish Aid, the Government’s programme for overseas development.

Media professionals and students are invited to submit proposals to cover a development issue, which will involve travel to a developing country. The Fund is open to all media disciplines and encourages proposals that promote positive impressions of developing countries across areas such as health, education, environment, business and sport. Projects that explore the issue of hunger and / or that are relevant to the Millennium Development Goals will be favoured by the judging panel, as will projects that focus on Irish Aid’s partner countries in Africa and Asia.

The deadline for receipt of applications is 5pm on Friday, 16th September 2011.

Two information workshops for media professionals interested in applying to the Simon Cumbers Media Fund will take place over the coming weeks – the first in Dublin on 5th September at the Irish Aid Information and Volunteering Centre, Upper O’Connell Street, and the second in Cork on 6th September at the Clarion Hotel, Lapps Quay.

 

The Simon Cumbers Media Fund has two funding rounds each year: one in summer and one in winter. Former successful applicants have gone on to travel to – and report on issues in – countries such as Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho, Timor Leste, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Previous Simon Cumbers Media Fund projects have also won and been shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards and festivals, including the Clarion Awards, the PPI Radio Awards, the Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival, the New York Festival, the Western Development Commission John Healy Award and the One World Media Awards.

 

Full details on registering for the Simon Cumbers Media Fund workshops – and on how to apply to the Fund – are available at www.simoncumbersmediafund.ie.  For information on Irish Aid, see www.irishaid.gov.ie.

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Simon Cumbers Media Fund

Details of the 2011 rounds of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund will be announced at 2pm on Wednesday, 30th March 2011, at the Irish Aid Centre, 27-31 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin 1.

The Simon Cumbers Media Fund promotes enhanced coverage of development issues in the Irish media through a grant scheme and was established by Irish Aid in 2005 in memory of the late Irish journalist and cameraman, Simon Cumbers.

During Wednesday’s launch, the Minister for State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan, will highlight the importance of sustained coverage of development issues; as well as the need for the media to cover positive stories about these countries so that the public can have a more rounded view of them. The Chairperson of the judging panel of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund, Bob Collins, will provide details of the 2011 round of the fund, including the themes and guidelines that must be observed by applicants.

Under the Simon Cumbers Media Fund, journalists are invited to submit proposals for coverage on a development issue, which will involve travel to a developing country. Average awards under the Fund are €3,200, and the closing date for receipt of applications for the first funding round in 2011 will be Friday, 22nd April.

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