The first project of UNDEF's Eighth Round of Funding was signed on 9 September 2014, one of some 50 new initiatives that will be launched by UNDEF in this new Round. The project will work to strengthen independent journalism in Libya, so that local citizens have better access to information about the country’s democratic process even amid considerable security challenges. Implemented by the Rory Peck Trust together with local partners, the project will train a core group of freelance journalists in freelance tradecraft and safety skills. This will be developed into an online resource, providing all freelance journalists in Libya with access to information that can assist them in producing more professional and ethical content, safely and securely.
"This is the first UNDEF-funded project devoted entirely to supporting freelance journalism," said Annika Savill, Executive Head a. i. of the UN Democracy Fund, on signing the project document at UN Headquarters in New York with Tina Carr, Director of the Rory Peck Trust . "The murders of freelance journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and the growing restrictions on media in a range of countries, make even more relevant and important the work, courage and safety of independent journalists worldwide. The Rory Peck Trust is uniquely equipped to carry out this project in an environment such as Libya, where the need is acute and the challenges in operating are just as acute."
The London-based Rory Peck Trust is the world's only organization dedicated fully to supporting and assising freelance newsgatherers. It was established in memory of Rory Peck, the pioneering freelance cameraman who covered the wars in the Gulf, Bosnia and Afghanistan and helped to found FrontlineTelevision News, a London-based co-operative of freelance cameramen. He was killed in crossfire in Moscow in 1993 while filming a gun battle outside the Ostankino television station.