What is the Media Fund all about?
In 2005, a little over a year after the tragic death of Irish journalist Simon Cumbers, Irish Aid established the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to honour his memory. The aim of the Fund is to assist and promote more and better quality media coverage of development issues in the Irish media. Two rounds of funding are allocated every year: one in summer, and one in winter.
About Simon Cumbers
Originally from Navan, Co Meath, Simon Cumbers was an experienced journalist, whose career took him from newspaper and radio reporting in Ireland to reporting and producing for ITN and Channel 4 Daily – amongst others – in the UK.
While in the UK, Simon retrained as a cameraman and began working as a freelance news cameraman, with a focus on foreign news. He had a varied and successful freelance career, and was much in demand at the BBC and with other television networks. He also ran his own newsgathering and production company, Locum Productions, with his wife, Louise Bevan.
During his career, Simon filmed and edited reports from every continent in the world. His work took him from the Amazonian rain forests to the African deserts and the Arctic Circle. He covered civil unrest in Indonesia; earthquakes in Turkey and India, and the 2004 train bombings in Madrid.
In June 2004, at the age of 36, Simon Cumbers was murdered by terrorist gunmen while filming a report for BBC Television News in Saudi Arabia. The attackers opened fire on Simon and his colleague – BBC correspondent Frank Gardner – in a suburb of Riyadh. Simon died at the scene and Frank Gardner was seriously injured.
In the aftermath of his death, Irish journalist Orla Guerin wrote an obituary about Simon that was published in The Guardian. A copy of the obituary can be found here.
In 2005, a little over a year after his death and in close consultation with Louise Bevan and the extended Cumbers family, Irish Aid established the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to honour his memory. The aim of the Fund is to assist and promote more and better quality media coverage of development issues in the Irish media.
The Simon Cumbers Media Fund Blog
The Simon Cumbers Media Fund blog contains updates from journalists in the field and serves as a forum in which funded journalists can share information and advice with each other.