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IRE announces winners of Freelance Fellowship competition

Projects investigating criminal justice and child welfare issues have been awarded IRE Freelance Fellowships this year. The winners of the 2016 competition are:

  • Adam Wisnieski, First Place, an independent journalist in Connecticut whose work has appeared in a variety of newspapers, magazines and online publications. His work will focus on issues related to the rights of inmates.
  • Samantha Sunne, Second Place, who specializes in data-driven investigative reporting. Her work will examine issues related to the nation's public defender system.
  • Emily Palmer, Third Place, a New York-based journalist whose project will examine a series of child-welfare related topics.

Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, this fellowship program has allowed IRE to award fellowships for the last nine 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.

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