Three distinguished journalists make up the independent jury presiding over IJ4EU’s grant scheme for freelancers.
The European Journalism Centre (EJC), a partner in the IJ4EU fund, has unveiled the identities of the external jury members responsible for the evaluation and selection of proposals under the latest edition of IJ4EU’s Freelancer Support Scheme.
Running in parallel to IJ4EU’s long-established Investigation Support Scheme, the Freelancer Support Scheme is designed for teams of journalists working predominantly outside of newsroom structures who collaborate on cross-border investigations on topics of public interest in Europe and beyond.
EJC, which manages the Freelancer Support Scheme, announced on April 11 the 14 teams awarded grants under the scheme’s most recent call. In addition to money, the teams will receive training, mentoring and access to legal support.
Editorial independence is a central pillar of the IJ4EU fund. No donor is permitted to exert influence over the selection of grantees or their work. That is why independent juries award all IJ4EU grants and prizes.
During the 2022/23 edition of the IJ4EU programme, the Freelancer Support Scheme jury was made up of three journalists with extensive experience in investigative journalism and collaborative projects. Here are their profiles.
Ruona Meyer, journalist, researcher and media trainer
Ruona Meyer is a journalist, researcher and media trainer with some 20 years of experience across Africa, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany. She specialises in solutions journalism training and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultancy for Africa-focused grants and donor organisations.
Ruona manages the Africa Initiative at the Solutions Journalism Network, coordinating multilingual training, reporting and advocacy of the solutions approach across 40 newsrooms in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
The programme has benefitted almost 1,000 journalists, student journalists and lecturers in newsrooms and universities across the target countries, as well as bespoke partnerships with media non-profits across the continent that have delivered solutions journalism training curriculum for climate reporting, marginalised populations, environmental reporting, peace and security reporting and gender-based violence.
In 2013, Ruona was awarded Investigative Journalist of the Year by the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism. In 2018, she was commissioned by the BBC to work on investigations into pharmaceutical drug cartels in Nigeria.
Her television documentary Sweet Sweet Codeine was nominated for an Emmy in 2019. This was the first time a Nigerian film and a BBC World Service production was nominated for the United States’ most prestigious television award.
With bylines in the Financial Times and Deutsche Welle, Ruona has worked since 2020 as a freelance editor for Netherlands-based ZAM magazine’s Africa investigations desk, coordinating investigations in Liberia, Nigeria, Malawi and Zimbabwe. She recently began reporting on socio-political issues for Germany-based RiffReporter.
Ruona is a PhD scholar at De Montfort University in the English city of Leicester. Her thesis explores power dynamics within transcontinental investigative journalism networks. She also designs and partakes in media development research in various capacities: as Visiting Senior Research Associate, Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicines at King’s College London, UK, as a Board Member for the New Media Advocacy Programme, New York, and on the Advisory Committee of the Nigeria Media Innovation Program, a three-year initiative by US non-profit the Media Development Investment Fund.
Pierre Leibovici, Journalist Disclose.ngo
Pierre Leibovici is a French journalist working for the investigative news outlet Disclose.ngo. He has worked for several years at the intersection of investigative journalism and reader engagement. Before joining Disclose, he was part of the local French investigative organisation Mediacités and co-founded a slow-pace news outlet called L’imprévu.
Liubomyra Remazhevska, editor, Slidstvo.info
Liubomyra Remazhevska is a Ukrainian journalist who has worked in the media industry since 2005. She specialises in economic journalism, especially energy and heavy industry. Between 2019 and 2021, she was an analytical editor at the journalistic investigative program “Schemes. Corruption in detail” on Radio Svoboda. Between 2021 and 2022, she was an editor for the investigative journalism agency Slidstvo.Info.
She is the co-author of a series of investigations into the Russian business of Vladimir Putin’s crony, Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk. Together with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, she published an international investigation into how Medvedchuk received two valuable oil assets in Russia for nothing. In 2021, together with her colleagues from “Schemes”, Maksym Savchuk and Oleksandr Chornovalov, she received the highest award of the National Investigative Journalism Competition for her article “Viktor Medvedchuk’s American Dream”.
She is a two-time laureate of the PRESSZVANIE business circle award in the “Electroenergetics” category.
As a reporter, she has been filming the consequences of Russian shelling following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. She has recorded the testimonies of people who survived captivity, occupation and witnessed war crimes committed by the Russian military in Ukraine.