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The Independent launches new Rupert Cornwell award for young journalists with £5,000 bursary

By Thomas Kavanagh

The Independent has launched its first annual journalism award in honour of long-serving foreign correspondent Rupert Cornwell.

The winner will receive a bursary of £5,000 for a journalistic project, to be published on the news website once completed.

Cornwell (pictured top) worked as a foreign correspondent for The Independent from 1986, when it was founded.

During his tenure he reported from Rome, Paris, Brussels, Bonn, Moscow and Washington. He died of cancer in March, aged 71.

Independent editor Christian Broughton said: “Rupert was widely respected as a brilliant and enterprising journalist, and much missed by family, friends and colleagues.

“He made an invaluable contribution to our titles and to his craft. We are proud to offer this bursary as a fitting memorial to his life and work.”

The award is open to journalists who were under 30 on 1 January and are based in the UK or US (but need not be nationals of either country). Applicants need not have studied journalism.

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Applications should include:

  • A pitch of around 800 words detailing how the funds will be used, the volume and type of material that will be generated, and its worth as journalism
  • Where appropriate, a selection of three published articles or other pieces of work (equal consideration will be given to applicants with little or no established track record)
  • A personal or professional reference

The successful candidate must produce original journalism, in English, based on one of Cornwell’s old beats: North America, Europe or the former Soviet Union.

It should satisfy the following criteria:

  • It must be substantially in the form of the written word as articles, with use of other media also encouraged
  • It may constitute one article, but will more likely constitute a series of articles
  • It should be completed within six months of the start of the project at most, and in any case by 1 September 2018
  • The funding may be staggered as goals are met
  • Overall it should amount to about 10,000 words, plus other material as appropriate

Cornwell’s surviving wife, Susan, also US congressional correspondent for Reuters, said: “It means so much to me that we have been able to set up this award in support of young aspiring foreign correspondents.

“Rupert was always there to help and offer support to younger colleagues. May this award help to pass the torch and carry on his journalistic dedication and integrity.”

The award, co-sponsored by the Rupert Cornwell Trust, will be judged by a panel of six judges and chaired by Suan Cornwell.

Panel chairman and Independent associate editor Sean O’Grady, said: “We’re hoping that (the award) will help to offer a young journalist with ambition a platform to report with the same acuity and insight that Rupert did throughout his career as a foreign correspondent.

“That is why we chose to specify that the assignments be in on of the areas of the world he spent much of his time.”

Applications should be sent to by Monday 15 January 2018.

Picture: The Independent

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