Our History

In 2020, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Rory Peck Trust. Scroll through the timeline below to find out more about our milestones and achievements over the years.

1995

The Rory Peck Trust is established in memory of freelance cameraman Rory Peck, who was killed in Moscow in 1993.

1996

Sony becomes the headline sponsor of the Rory Peck Awards. It remains a notable partner today.

1997

A pilot scheme to make safety training and insurance affordable and accessible for freelancers is launched.

1997/1998

The first assistance grants of £3,500 each are made to the families of Labib Ibrahim, killed in Egypt, and Olivier Quemener, killed in Algeria.

1999/2000

RPT administers a bursary scheme for freelancers to attend safety training. In May 2000, it becomes the Training Fund and in its first year provides 62 grants to freelancers.

2001

The Sony Impact Award for Current Affairs launches at the annual Rory Peck Awards, and is awarded to Palestinian freelancer Talal Abu Rahma.

2002

The RPT funds IFJ’s Safety Training Workshop for Afghan Journalists, enabling freelancers to take part. Organised by AKE Ltd, the course also provides affordable insurance for freelance journalists.

2003

The Sigrid Rausing Trust offers a major grant to extend RPT’s geographical scope, which helps expand the Trust’s network of contacts and increase international awareness of its activities.

2006

The Trust is co-founder of the Journalists in Distress (JID) network, a group of organisations around the world that provide support to journalists whose lives or careers are threatened because of their work.

2007

The Trust launches the Martin Adler Prize at the annual Awards, honouring a local freelance journalist or field producer whose work has made a significant contribution to newsgathering.

2008

Open Society Institute funds the Trust to carry out a two-year programme for freelancers in Mexico, which culminates in the Freelancers in Mexico report.

2012

RPT partners with Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa in Colombia to help local journalists set up a unique online initiative – an income-generating digital news platform enabling displaced freelance journalists to resume work in the capital.

2012

RPT partners with CERIGUA in Guatemala to provide safety and skills training for at-risk freelancers, with sessions covering risk assessment, good practice and law, to make them aware of their rights.

2013

The Trust supports the Media Council of Kenya to create a hotline for freelancers to provide advice and practical safety tips. Later, RPT develops the East Africa Journalist in Distress Group and an East Africa Journalists in Exile online resource.

2013

The Trust launches online resources for freelance journalists, covering safety and security, training, digital security, insurance and funding.

2014

Working with local partners, the Trust funds medical trauma training for freelancers in Iraqi Kurdistan and a professional skills workshop in London for Iranian freelancers in exile.

2014

UNDEF supports a project to improve safety for independent journalists in Libya, implemented by RPT with local Libyan partners. It trains freelance journalists in tradecraft and safety skills.

2015

The Trust is involved in the creation of the ACOS Alliance, an unprecedented coalition of news organisations, freelance journalist associations and press freedom NGOs working together to champion safe and responsible journalistic practices.

2016

RPT becomes a member of the Ethical Journalism Network, an alliance of media professionals and organisations aiming to strengthen journalism around the world.

2017

The Trust becomes a partner of the Council of Europe’s Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists. This digital tool aims to improve the protection of journalists through an alert system that highlights attacks against journalists and holds governments accountable.

2017

RPT launches a two-year project to support independent journalism in Ukraine, funded by UNDEF and run in partnership with the Institute of Mass Information. The project culminates in a freelancers forum on safety issues in Ukraine and digital resources.

2018

In partnership with Dart Centre Europe, the second phase of the Ukraine project sees the launch of a bilingual online resource in Ukranian and Russian for freelance journalists.

2019

The Trust contributes the section on freelance journalists in the Council of Europe platform’s first Annual Report, picked up by press outlets around the world.

2019

The FCO consults with the Trust for its Global Media Freedom Campaign. RPT curates a Freelancers Hub at the first Global Conference for Media Freedom, hosted jointly by the UK & Canadian governments in London.

2019

RPT partners with the Justice for Journalists Foundation on a safety training course for Russian-speaking media professionals from Russia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia and Uzbekistan at Human Rights House Tbilisi.

2019

Supported by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy and ACOS Alliance, RPT delivers a training initiative covering personal safety, first aid, legal issues and digital security for Cambodian freelance journalists.