Charity: Rory Watson takes a look at the Lénaïc Fund for Quality Journalism: Supporting young female journalists.
Lénaïc was a highly talented young journalist. In just a few years, she became the leading Brussels-based reporter covering trade issues, widely respected by her peers, sources and audiences. She died from cancer in September 2015, aged 28.
Her family, friends and colleagues established the Lénaïc Fund for Quality Journalism the following year. This helps young female EU nationals starting out on their journalistic careers develop their professional skills. The fund provides five-month paid fellowships in its media partners Mlex and Politico Europe – the two premier English language news organisations headquartered in Brussels.
As Lénaïc’s parents Aulde and Charles Vaudin d’Imécourt explain, the idea for the charity came after they received an overwhelming number of fulsome tributes from a wide range of individuals and organizations on their daughter’s dedication and professionalism.
The first fellow selected in 2017 was Maria Bofill Garcia from Spain. She was followed by Judith Mischke (Germany), while the third Zosia Wanat (Poland).
“This encouraged us in the belief that her memory deserved to be perpetuated in helping other young female journalists reach and carry on the high standards of journalism she had achieved in her too short life.”
All point to the benefits of receiving a firm foundation in journalism and insight into EU issues in media with strong ethical and professional values – priceless commodities in a world of increasing fake news. An added bonus is being part, albeit for a short period, of one of the world’s largest international press corps.
“Being taught first hand by some of Europe’s top journalists how to cover and report news has been a great experience for me,” says Judith, now working as a journalist in Berlin.
The fund is registered with the Roi Baudouin Foundation. Its ambassador is Dutch Liberal MEP Marietje Schaake.