A strong group of stories were submitted to IRE for the IRE Freelance Fellowship competition. The winners of the Freelance Fellowships for 2013 are: Wally Roberts, for his story on abuse in the nation’s largest nursing homes; Leah Bartos, for her work regarding shoddy forensic work; Erin Segal, for her work on misunderstood aspects of our immigration policy, specifically on the deportation of military veterans; and Joyce Tsai, for her stories on the number of awards given to servicemen and women during the War on Terror.
Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, this fellowship program has allowed IRE to award fellowships for the last six years, giving freelance journalists a much-needed boost in the pursuit of their investigative work. IRE is assembling an online library of the winners of this fellowship since its inception. This is available to all IRE members and becomes a part of IRE’s library.
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.
IRE is a non-profit educational and professional organization of more than 4,500 journalists working to foster excellence in journalism. Founded in 1975, IRE also runs the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, a joint program of IRE and the Missouri School of Journalism, where IRE is housed. The freelance fellowship is one of many awarded each year by IRE to continue its support of quality investigative journalism.