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Bursary for young journalists will help keep Lyra McKee's memory alive, says sister

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Nichola Corner and James Harkin, director of the CIJ, at the launch of bursary

Nichola Corner and James Harkin, director of the CIJ, at the launch of bursary

Nichola Corner and James Harkin, director of the CIJ, at the launch of bursary

The sister of murdered journalist Lyra McKee has said a scheme to help fund young investigative reporters named in honour of the 29-year-old would help ensure she will "never be forgotten".

Nichola Corner was speaking at the Belfast launch of the Lyra McKee Investigative Journalism Training Bursary.

The fund is designed to help train a generation of investigative journalists from backgrounds that are currently under-represented in the media.

It is open to residents of the UK and Ireland and will help fund young newshounds attending the annual conference of the respected Centre for Investigative Journalism.

"When we as a family learned about this bursary, we thought it was the most amazing tribute to Lyra," Nichola said.

"Doors do not open easily for people who want to become investigative journalists.

Lyra McKee

"They have to make their own way in the world.

"But Lyra didn't just open doors, she broke them down."

The bursary scheme has secured funding for four years and hopes to secure more at a later date.

"At least 50 young journalists will receive training they would not otherwise have had," Nichola said.

Centre for Investigative Journalism director James Harkin said the industry was in crisis and he worried that "journalism may become the preserve of the well-heeled and the well-connected, rather than those who are best at doing their job".

He urged young people who aspire to be journalists, or who are in the early stages of their journalism careers, to apply for the bursary, saying: "It's about helping rescue investigative journalism."

Lyra died last April after being shot in the head by a dissident republican gunman in the Creggan area of Derry.

She had been observing a police operation in the area and the violent reaction to the security forces. No one has been convicted of her murder.

The Centre for Investigative Journalism's summer conference will take place in June at Goldsmith's College in London.

It provides classroom-based training in investigative journalism, as well as the opportunity to learn from some of the best investigations.

For more information about the bursary and Centre for Investigative Journalism, visit www.tcij.org

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