Simon Cumbers Media Fund seeks submissions on development issues

Intending applicants encouraged to attend October media briefing

Journalists and media professionals with an interest in reporting on issues in the developing world are invited to apply for funding under the winter 2016 round of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund.

The Fund is designed to facilitate more and better quality media coverage of development issues in the Irish media. It was set up by Irish Aid, the Government’s programme for overseas development, in memory of Irish journalist Simon Cumbers, who was killed while on assignment in Saudi Arabia in 2004.simoncumberslogo

Proposed projects should focus on international development themes and applicants must demonstrate the relevance of their project to one or more of the seven Irish Aid Priority Areas for Action. These priority areas include: hunger, climate change, trade and economic growth, essential services, human rights and accountability and humanitarian assistance.

Applications from all media disciplines and outlets are encouraged. Photographers are also invited to apply for funding to present a photographic exhibition as part of their submission. Judges will assess applications against criteria such as the reach of the project and its potential to raise understanding of development issues among Irish audiences.

Announcing the latest funding round, Minister of State for Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh, TD said:

“The Simon Cumbers Media Fund plays an important role in developing greater understanding of Ireland’s role in international development. Media professionals have the opportunity to stimulate debate around critical issues such as climate change, gender equality and human rights, and to tell the stories of the people who are affected by these issues.

“Irish Aid continues to work on the ground in countries throughout the developing world and we are proud to support the work of the Fund. We would urge media professionals from all backgrounds to consider applying to the winter 2016 round.”

An information session for prospective applicants to the winter 2016 round will take place on Tuesday, 4th October at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Iveagh House, 80 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 from 11am to 1pm. Representatives from the Fund and the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade will attend to provide details of and to answer questions about the Fund’s themes and guidelines.

Commenting today, Bob Collins, Chairman of the Judging Panel said: “We’ve had some fantastic applications in the past that have not been funded simply because they fell outside the scope of the Fund. We would encourage anyone who has an idea to come along to our workshop in October. Prospective applicants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the Fund representatives and to gain an invaluable insight from previous recipients.”

He added: “We would also encourage any newsroom or NUJ chapel outside of Dublin who has members interested in attending a briefing to get in touch, with a view to organising a local meeting.”

The deadline for the receipt of submissions to the winter 2016 round is Wednesday, 26th October at 5pm.

Full details of the guidelines, application process and background to the Simon Cumbers Media Fund are available on