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Centre for Investigative Journalism sets up training bursary in honour of Lyra McKee

The Centre for Investigative Journalism has launched a bursary in honour of the murdered journalist Lyra McKee to train aspiring journalists from underprivileged backgrounds.

The Lyra McKee Investigative Journalism bursary will offer financial support to aspiring journalists or those at the early stages of their career to attend training sessions at the CIJ summer conference in London in July.

Applications from sixth form students, the BAME (black and minority ethnic) community, people with disabilities, carers, and those from poorer backgrounds or who cannot afford to pay for the training will be “especially welcome”, the CIJ said.

In a post announcing the new scheme, CIJ said: “We knew Lyra personally at the CIJ. She attended CIJ summer conferences and trainings 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.”

The bursary scheme is being funded by the Lorana Sullivan Foundation,  which is dedicated to the education and training of students and other groups in business, financial and investigative journalism.

The CIJ added that the exact number of bursaries on offer would depend on the individual needs of applicants.

Lyra McKee was shot dead in Derry, Northern Ireland last month while she watched rioting in the Creggan area.

Dissident republican group the New IRA claimed its members carried out the killing. Those close to McKee have urged the killer to hand themselves in to the authorities.

McKee wrote much about the Troubles during her career, which saw her published in Private Eye, The Atlantic and the Belfast Telegraph among other titles.

She also featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 list for media figures in 2016.

Applications for the bursary are only open to UK residents and must be submitted by 2 June.

This year’s CIJ summer conference will be held at Goldsmiths, University of London between 4 and 6 July.

Picture: Family handout/PA Wire

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