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Why I'm supporting my freelance colleagues

Why I'm supporting my freelance colleagues

On Sunday 18 March, New York Times Deputy Europe Business Editor, Prashant Rao, will run the Hampton Court Palace half marathon to raise £5k for freelance journalists. 

London-based Prashant, a former AFP Iraq Bureau Chief, is taking on the 13 mile run in support of freelance journalists who work in the world's most dangerous regions. 

“I had the luxury of having a major news organisation pay for my security training, insurance and safe accommodation, allowing me to focus on covering the news” said Prashant. “Not everyone has that luxury. Many freelancers risk their lives to bring us the news, often from parts of the world that are extremely dangerous or difficult to work in. For this reason, we - staff journalists, but also the wider news industry - must do what we can to support our freelance colleagues, particularly in times of crisis." 

Prashant is fundraising via JustGiving and aims to raise £5,000 for RPT's work supporting freelancers. 
"With demand for our assistance increasing by the year, individual fundraisers like this provide a real boost." said Tina Carr, director of RPT. "£5,000 goes a long way; it means we can give up to eight more assistance grants to freelancers in crisis or seven additional safety training bursaries. This is help that has a direct impact on individual lives and situations and we think it's wonderful that Prashant has chosen to support his freelance colleagues in this way."

In 2017, the Trust gave 141 assistance grants to freelance journalists who were attacked, threatened, injured, displaced or imprisoned because of their work. Our grants helped them find safety, respite, housing, medical treatment, legal advice, replace lost equipment, and much more. 

Last year Rory Peck training bursaries enabled 97 freelancers from a broad range of countries - including Turkey, Somalia, Russia and the US - to receive hostile environment and first aid training, providing them with the skills and knowledge to work safely and responsibly. 

You can donate to Prashant's fundraiser via JustGiving and follow him on Twitter. 

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