Our History

The Rory Peck Trust was established over 25 years ago to help freelance journalists and their families. Scroll through the timeline below to find out more about our milestones and achievements over the years.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


RPT creates a COVID-19 Hardship Fund in response to the coronavirus pandemic, for freelance journalists directly affected by the crisis. The Fund is re-opened in October with support from CPJ after overwhelming demand.


Supported by UNESCO, RPT launches a Legal Fund to help ensure that freelance journalists can access legal assistance, even when they are unable to afford a lawyer or trial costs.


Launch of the Resilience Programme in partnership with Meta, to support freelance journalists with free trauma & resilience workshops delivered by Dart Centre Europe, as well as a fund to help cover the cost of therapy.

Resilience Programme Timeline

May 2023

With help from the Google News Initiative, RPT launches a Risk & Safety Helpdesk on World Press Freedom Day to support the safety of frontline journalists.