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Reuters and Durham University launch Sir Harry Evans global journalism initiative


Reuters and Durham University today announced the launch of a global initiative to nurture a new generation of investigative journalists. The programme, which honours celebrated British-born journalist, editor and author Sir Harry Evans, aims to identify and develop early career reporters from around the world.

Sir Harry set the gold standard for journalism in the public interest, spotlighting causes overlooked or denied. He died in 2020, aged 92.

The Sir Harry Evans Memorial Fund will create two complementary programmes in honour of the former editor of the UK’s Sunday Times, Reuters editor-at-large and Durham University alumnus: a Fellowship in investigative journalism and an annual, agenda-setting Forum.

The Fellowship will offer a high-calibre candidate the opportunity to undertake a piece of investigative reporting from the Reuters newsroom, mentored by top Reuters editors and supported by academic links at Durham University.

The Fund will welcome applicants from all backgrounds who can tell stories from diverse perspectives and from around the world. The fellow will be appointed annually, following a competitive award process, and the first fellow will join Reuters in 2022.

The Fund will also enable the creation of an annual Forum for leading figures across media broadcasting and investigative journalism at Durham Castle, home to University College, Harry’s college at Durham University. The Forum will bring together a diverse and influential audience to discuss all aspects of the journalistic discipline.

Additionally, the winner of the Fellowship will have the chance to participate in the Forum in Durham.

The Sir Harry Evans Memorial Fund has the backing of Sir Harry’s widow, Tina Brown CBE, former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, and founder of The Daily Beast. For further details, please visit www.durham.ac.uk/sir-harry-evans-memorial-fund*

Alessandra Galloni, Reuters Editor-in-Chief, said: “Sir Harry Evans was a giant of journalism and an inspiration to those who worked with him. We hope that, through this initiative, Reuters can help support a diverse new generation of investigative journalists and newsroom leaders. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Durham University to champion independent journalism, nurture emerging talent and celebrate Sir Harry’s remarkable legacy.”

Professor Antony Long, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Warden, Durham University, said: “Durham is an exceptional global research University, and part of a history of learning and curious inquiry stretching back a thousand years. This Forum and Fellowship will attract the very best minds and talents from the journalism industry together in academic and professional discourse in honour of one of our most notable graduates. Our partnership with Reuters will develop countless opportunities for students, researchers, and professionals alike around the world.”

Tina Brown CBE, Sir Harry’s widow and an acclaimed journalist, said: “Harry was a voracious truth-teller and champion of courageous journalism in every form. The thought that we are doing something in his legacy to make sure Harrys of the future - whatever and wherever their gender, background, or means - are nurtured into the profession is something which I know would have moved him greatly.”

David Thomson, Chairman of Thomson Reuters, said: “Harry cast an immense shadow and his spirit hovers today, stronger than ever. Talent drew alongside and thrived under his leadership; alchemy simply unfurled. Harry’s boundless curiosity, dogged determination and unwavering courage made one feel deeply human and proud. Our family and everyone involved with this initiative believes it will attract and inspire individuals who truly believe in the future of journalism. Harry could never have wished for a finer narrative.”

Durham University has already received over $5M in pledges to support the establishment of the fund, including a $2M donation from Thomson Reuters. Further funding is sought to develop the scope of the initiative and to secure the endowment in perpetuity.

Further announcements and launch events for the Forum and the Fellowship will take place over 2022. For more information on the Sir Harry Evans Memorial Fund please visit: www.durham.ac.uk/sir-harry-evans-memorial-fund