Projects investigating medical centers, government corruption and immigration law have been awarded IRE Freelance Fellowships this year. The winners of the 2015 competition are:

  • Emma Jacobs, First Place, is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-area radio and television journalist. Her project will examine a law firm specializing in immigration law and the impact of its work on families trying to obey U.S. immigration laws. Jacobs earned a degree from Columbia University in Francophone studies.
  • Sarah Angle, Second Place, of Fort Worth, Texas. Angle will study a government medical center in that city, home at any given time to about 1,300 women convicted of federal crimes. Since opening in 1994, the center has been the site of deaths allegedly arising from abuse and neglect. In previous projects, Angle has exposed high infant mortality in portions of Texas, and how prostitutes are sometimes victims of sex trafficking enterprises. She earned journalism degrees from Southern Illinois University and Texas Christian University.
  • Christian Locka, Third Place, is a French language journalist based in Cameroon. Locka’s investigative territory consists largely of Cameroon and Nigeria, with a focus on human rights violations and generalized corruption rooted in government offices plus corporate suites. Locka’s project will examine how economic development in portions of Africa is being compromised by government agents.

Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, this fellowship program has allowed IRE to award fellowships for the last eight years, giving freelance journalists a much-needed boost in the pursuit of their investigative work. Visit our online library of Freelance Fellowship winners to see some of the work they’ve produced.

We are building the endowment that makes this fellowship possible, so please consider supporting the fund. If you’re a current member, click here to make a secure credit card donation through our site. Please put “Freelance Fellowship” in the message line. If you’re not a current member or if you prefer to donate via PayPal, click here.

 

About the award:

These fellowships are for journalists who make their living primarily as freelance/independent journalists. Applications are scrutinized by three experienced freelance journalists; they are ineligible for the award while serving on the committee. Proposals are judged in part on the breadth, significance and potential impact of the investigative project. At the request of the donor, proposals dealing with whistleblowers, business ethics and/or privacy issues will receive priority; projects involving other topics will be given serious consideration by the committee as well. The freelance projects must be published or aired primarily in US outlets.