Reuters and Durham University launch global journalism initiative

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THE late British journalist, editor and author Sir Harry Evans is considered by many to be the gold standard for journalism in the public interest.

Throughout his career, which began as a Durham University student at The Palatinate and was editor of The Northern Echo in the 1960s, he has shed the spotlight on causes that are otherwise overlooked or denied.

He has led many successful campaigns at The Northern Echo including getting cervical swabs introduced for free at the NHS and forcing the chemical industry to clean up pollutants on Teesside.

The former Sunday Times editor and Reuters editor-in-chief died in 2020 at the age of 92.

Today Reuters and Durham University announce the launch of a global initiative to promote a new generation of investigative journalists in his memory.

Read more: Harold Evans – the man who put the fuel in The Northern Echo rocket

The Sir Harry Evans Memorial Fund will create two complementary programs – an investigative journalism grant and an annual agenda-setting forum.

The grant provides a high profile candidate the opportunity to produce investigative coverage from the Reuters newsroom, overseen by leading Reuters editors and supported by academic links at Durham University.

The fund will welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds who can tell stories from different perspectives and from around the world.

The fellow will be nominated annually through a competitive award process and the first fellow will join Reuters in 2022.

The fund will also enable the establishment of an annual forum for media broadcasting and investigative journalism leaders at Durham Castle, home of University College, Sir Harry’s College at Durham University.

The forum will bring together a diverse and influential audience to discuss all aspects of the journalistic discipline.

In addition, the scholarship winner will have the opportunity to attend the Durham forum.

Sir Harry’s widow Tina Brown, herself a celebrated journalist and former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker and founder of The Daily Beast, has endorsed the initiative.

She said, “Harry was an insatiable truth-teller and an advocate of courageous journalism in all forms.

“The thought that we are doing something in his legacy to ensure that Harrys of the future – whatever and wherever their gender, race, or resource – are professionally made, I know, moved him. ”

Speaking to The Northern Echo, she added, “Harry was a man of the Northeast, he learned his knowledge and critical thinking in Durham and was incredibly proud of his work with The Northern Echo.

“He was very proud and cultivated of his connections with Durham and the North East, so it was important that he be part of this initiative.

“Journalism is important and I know how excited Harry would be about the opportunities here.”

Alessandra Galloni, Editor-in-Chief of Reuters, said: “Sir Harry Evans was a journalism giant and an inspiration to those who worked with him.

“We hope that through this initiative, Reuters can help support a diverse new generation of investigative journalists and editorial managers.

“We are excited to work with Durham University to promote independent journalism, nurture emerging talent and celebrate the remarkable legacy of Sir Harry.”

Professor Antony Long, Acting Vice Chancellor and Director of Durham University, said, “Durham is an exceptional global research university and part of a millennial history of learning and curious inquiry.

“This forum and fellowship will bring together the best minds and talents in the journalism industry for an academic and professional discourse in honor of one of our most distinguished alumni.

“Our partnership with Reuters will open up myriad opportunities for students, researchers and professionals around the world.”

David Thomson, Chairman of Thomson Reuters, said, “Harry cast an immense shadow and his spirit floats stronger than ever today. Talent drew side by side and thrived under his guidance; Alchemy just unfolds.

“Harry’s boundless curiosity, persistent determination, and unwavering courage made one feel deeply human and proud.

“Our family and everyone involved in this initiative believe it will attract and inspire people who truly believe in the future of journalism.

“Harry could never have asked for a finer narrative.”

Durham University has already received over $ 5 million in pledges to help set up the fund, including a $ 2 million donation from Thomson Reuters.

Further funds are being sought in order to expand the scope of the initiative and to secure the foundation in the long term.

Further announcements and kick-off events for the forum and the fellowship will take place in the course of 2022. For more information on the Sir Harry Evans Memorial Fund, see durham.ac.uk/sir-harry-evans-memorial-fund


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