Why I’m fundraising for the Rory Peck Trust
On Sunday 17 February, London-based freelance journalist Samir Jeraj will be running the Quicksilver Hampton Court Half Marathon to raise money for our work. He explains why.
February 2, 2019.
“Some decisions shouldn’t be made after an evening in a bar. ‘We should do a half-marathon together!’, said a friend. I was at just about the right stage of the night to agree and so I found myself with a twelve-week training plan that I had just ten weeks to complete.
But on a positive note, I now had the opportunity to raise money for a cause I care deeply about.
I chose to fundraise for the Rory Peck Trust because I’m genuinely concerned about the rising threats facing freelance journalists around the world. Without the support of large organisations, freelancers are often left in vulnerable positions.
As a UK-based freelance journalist, I’m relatively safe when I go out to work, which involves reporting on social issues such as homelessness, immigration, and poverty. Many of my interviewees have experienced terrible traumas and are in desperate situations so covering their stories can be hard to process sometimes, but there are far more difficult and dangerous beats.
Local freelancers working in conflict zones or under repressive regimes can often face assault, detention, even death. Sometimes these sorts of dangers are faced by journalists working in supposedly “safe” countries; the killing of Swedish freelancer Kim Wall in 2017 and the murder of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia the same year, are just two examples.
Whatever the crisis, organisations like the Rory Peck Trust are vital and need to be able to continue supporting freelancers and their families, wherever they are. By supporting my fundraiser you can help to give them the support and training they need to stay safe in an increasingly high-risk job.”
Already this year, the Trust has received over 90 requests for assistance from freelance journalists who have been threatened, injured, attacked and targeted because of their work. Our grants provide essential help and support that can help freelancers and their families recover from crisis and, where possible, get back to work.