RoryPeck Trust

When freelance journalists become the story….

Wednesday, 01 June 2016 Written by Rory Peck Trust

A new film by former Rory Peck Award winner Nick Read provides a powerful glimpse into the lives of freelancers helped by the Trust.

“One day armed men came to the office, they tied up our editor and took him away.” - Tatyana Semyonova

“I was hooded, I was handcuffed…I was kept in a very small, very dirty room for a month with absolutely no daylight” - Jeppe Nybroe

[I found] a threatening letter at the front of my house telling me I'm working with western media - that means I'm a traitor - Qais Najim

In this new film for the Trust, some of the freelancers we've supported recount terrifying events that most of us find hard to imagine. Sadly, for those of us who work here, real-life stories like these have become everyday tales. 

The Trust was set up to provide support to freelancers and their families in crisis and today, more than twenty years later, this support remains at the very heart of what we do.

When something happens to a freelancer, it doesn't just affect them, it affects their families too.  The impact of kidnapping, death threats, imprisonment, persecution, attack or injury can last for years. And very often that impact isn't just financial - its personal. 

For many, the battle begins when they're out of danger, trying to rebuild their lives in hiding or exile, far away from home, family and friends, or struggling to adjust to a normal life after detention, injury or kidnap.  It's at these times that freelancers and their families need us the most, and its why the support we give is more than just financial.

For many freelancers and their families, we are a trusted source of information, advice and guidance in a confusing and chaotic situation. For others, we're an important link to specialist sources of help and support. For some we are the only organisation they can turn to - a place of safety and confidentiality.

Freelance journalists never want to become the story. But when they do, we're here.  Help us to support them.
This film was produced and directed by Nick Read and edited by Paul Carlin.

Thanks also to: Tatyana Semyonova, Qais Najim, Jeppe Nybroe, Gulasal Kamolova and Issa Alawadat


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