Call to brave freelance camera workers

Freelance media workers who have braved life-threatening situations are invited to have their courage and skill recognised at a glitzy ceremony in London.

The Rory Peck Awards 2009 is for any freelance camera operator who works in challenging, hazardous conditions, serving TV news and current affairs.

The annual Awards typically assess each freelancer’s submission on three aspects: the quality of camera work, the initiative used and the journalistic ability and integrity.

The awards is the main fund raiser for the Rory Peck Trust – set up over a decade ago in memory of freelance cameraman Rory Peck, who was killed at work in 1993.

At the time of his death, there were no rules and no structure concerning what to do if a freelancer was killed, nor was there any aid for those they left behind.

As a result, Rory's widow and his close friends set up an organisation in 1995 to “provide the assistance that nobody else would give,” the trust says.

Today, the charity promotes the work, safety and security of freelance news-gatherers, and trains freelancers preparing to report from conflict zones.

The Awards is an extension of the trust’s objectives, and is hailed as an international event that showcases the work of cameraman and women who are self-employed.

Due to the independent nature of their work, these media professionals are often without the safeguards granted to full-time employees of media organisations.

Submissions from all freelancers whose work has been broadcast between August 1, 2008 and July 31, 2009 are now being accepted, until September 4, 2009.

“Freelancers bear witness to events around the world and the international newsgathering industry is relying on them more than ever,” the organisers said.

“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 Awards, which has four categories, welcomes self-funded freelance camera workers, particularly those who work in regions where it is difficult to operate.

Each of the accolades will be awarded on November 19, 2009, at London’s BFI Southbank, in what is normally a “moving celebration” involving key media figures.


17th June 2009

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