Brave media freelancers to be honoured

Daring freelance professionals whose job it is to film and record the world’s most harrowing scenes while putting their lives at risk are to be spotlighted at a London awards ceremony.

The Rory Peck Awards are calling freelance cameramen and camerawomen who work in TV news, current affairs and features to compete for a chance to have their work internationally recognised.

The deadline for competition entries is Friday September 1 2006, with all independent media workers invited to submit their materials online, through e-mail or by post.

All entries must have been broadcast between August 1 2005 and July 31 2006, with freelancers encouraged to tell their untold stories and share their rarely seen images of working in the media.

Organisers of the awards said they will be looking to honour initiative in camerawork and concept, journalistic ability and integrity and the circumstances and climate under which the footage was shot.

“Freelance journalists and other independent media workers are vital to free expression, bearing witness to events in remote corners of the globe and telling the untold stories,” they said in a statement.

“The international newsgathering industry relies heavily on their contribution. In many parts of the world, where they often represent the only independent voice, freelancers struggle to work in the face of poverty, insecurity and repression.”

The ceremony has been operating for almost a decade in memory to Rory Peck - one of the most skilful and respected freelance cameramen to capture the 21st century.

At the time of his death in 1993, when he was killed covering the October coup outside Moscow's main television centre, there were no rules and no structure in place to explain what to do if a freelancer gets killed, nor how to support those left behind
Two years later, Rory's widow and close friends set up an organisation to provide the assistance to their families that no-one else would give.

The Rory Peck Trust has grown into a highly respected body which is now influencing the way that newsgathering organisations worldwide treat their freelancers.

The Trust says it enjoys the active involvement and support of an international and influential committee of broadcasters including ABC News, Al Jazeera, the BBC, BSkyB, Channel 4 TV, CNN, ITN, NBC and Reuters.

It also helps freelancers in regions where it is difficult for independent media to operate.

The awards’ organisers said: “The Trust believes that by supporting the right of freelance newsgatherers to do their work freely and in safety, it is supporting the independent view, press freedom and democracy.”


27th July 2006

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