REGULAR FORUM FREELANCE FUND RULES
1. To be eligible for a hostile environment training bursary an applicant must be a Canadian citizen, or be able to demonstrate a considerable body of recent work abroad for Canadian media.
2. Applicants must provide evidence either that they have been working as freelancers for a minimum period of 18 months immediately prior to their application, including significant work abroad, or that they have at least 12 months’ experience as freelancers and have received commissions from relevant media organizations for freelance contributions from places abroad where journalists may face a heightened degree of personal danger.
3. Application is open to all journalists who meet the criteria in item 2, including reporters, producers, video and audio operators, photographers and fixers, without restriction as to the medium in which they work.
4. For the purposes of this competition, a journalist is defined as any person making the majority of their living from factual, first-hand journalistic processes showing attachment to ethical journalistic principles.
5. A person on contract to a media organization providing regular employment will not be considered to be freelance, regardless of tax status.
6. Applicants will compete for bursaries of up to $2,500 to attend courses provided by any one of the approved course providers listed at the time on the Forum’s website. Bursaries are not generally expected to cover the full costs of course fees and travel. Bursary winners will be responsible for all costs in excess of the bursary amount.
7. Bursaries will be awarded by an independent jury. All decisions, including determinations of freelance status, are final.
8. Within two months of notification, successful applicants must secure a place on the course of their choice with one of the approved course providers. The course must begin within 9 months of the applicant’s notification, unless an extension is granted under exceptional circumstances.
9. Part of the course fee may be payable by the bursary winner to the course provider in advance. Where a bursary-holder fails to make such payment to the course provider in advance of course commencement, in the manner the course provider stipulates, the whole bursary may be annulled.
10. Bursaries from the Forum Freelance Fund may be applied to course fees and reasonable travel, food and accommodation costs, supported by receipts.
11. Applicants are required to fill out the application form, supply a professional c.v., submit evidence as required of relevant freelance work, ensure that two references are emailed directly to the Forum by persons of appropriate standing in relevant media organizations who can speak to the quantity, quality and nature of the applicant’s work for them, and write approximately 500 words outlining their case for consideration. Priority will be given to those the jury considers to be in greatest or most immediate need of safety training, including those with specific assignments in hostile environments or whose work is likely to take them to such places.
12. Successful applicants will be required to sign an agreement including an indemnity recognizing that safety training is provided in good faith and that neither the Forum, its officers, directors or agents nor any of the Forum’s financial supporters, their officers, directors or agents will be liable for damages relating to incidents during the training or consequent to that training.
13. Applications may be submitted in English or French, but applicants may be required to demonstrate that they have adequate understanding of the language of instruction, which for all courses currently approved is English.
14. Successful applicants may also benefit from a bursary from The Rory Peck Trust, obtained by separate application to that organization, which will make its own decisions according to its own criteria. Applicants must disclose any such awards to the Forum Freelance Fund. Bursaries from the Trust can be combined with support from the Forum Freelance Fund, provided the journalist selects a course provider that is on both organizations’ approved list.