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Three journalists win IRE freelance fellowships

Projects investigating the U.S. war on terror, immigration and American business practices in Mexico have been awarded IRE Freelance Fellowships this year. The winners of the 2017 competition are:

  • Anna Cavell, first place, is a freelance journalist based in the United Kingdom whose work has appeared on the BBC and Al Jazeera English. Her documentary will focus on how U.S. companies are profiting from poor countries as part of the war on terrorism.
  • Amanda Sakuma, second place, is a New York-based freelance journalist who previously worked for NBC News, and the Houston Chronicle. Her stories will investigate partnerships between local law enforcement and the federal government on immigration and other issues.
  • Luis Chaparro, third place, is a freelance reporter based in Texas whose work has appeared in Vice News, Letras Libres magazine, Fusion magazine and El Daily Post. His project will investigate a U.S. factory in a border town in Mexico to explore larger issues connected to American businesses and their operations in Mexico.

The generosity of an anonymous donor has allowed IRE to award fellowships for the last 10 years. The fellowships give independent journalists a financial boost to pursue investigative work.

Visit our online library of Freelance Fellowship winners to see some of the work they’ve produced.

IRE continues to build the endowment that provides this fellowship, so please consider supporting the fund. If you’d like to donate, click here to make a secure credit card donation or get information about other ways to give. Please designate "Freelance Fellowship."


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 U.S. outlets.

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