Murdered journalist Lyra McKee posthumously honoured for dedication to job

A journalist killed during a riot in Northern Ireland earlier this year has been honoured with a posthumous award for her commitment to the profession.

Lyra McKee, 29, was shot in the head by dissident republican group the New IRA during clashes with police in the Creggan estate in Londonderry last month.

The Journalists’ Charity presented a special award for Miss McKee’s “outstanding commitment and contribution to journalism”.

The late reporter’s sister Nichola Corner said the family are thankful that the journalist’s qualities, both personal and professional, have been recognised in such a way.

Lyra McKee
Lyra McKee was shot and killed in April (Kevin Cooper/Amnesty/PA)

Receiving the recognition on Friday at the Regional Press Awards ceremony in London, Mrs Corner said: “Since Lyra was taken from us in the most horrific way, our family has said that her death should not be in vain and the ideals she held dearly are remembered.

“We have been deeply moved by the support we have received and are very thankful that Lyra’s qualities as a person and as a committed journalist have been recognised with this special award.”

James Brindle, chief executive of the Journalists’ Charity, presented the award to Mrs Corner and Miss McKee’s mother Joan McKee and said the reporter had “championed the under-represented” and “held those in power to account”.

He said: “Lyra’s courage in bearing witness to violence on the streets of Derry is the type of commitment that journalists admire and hope to possess themselves.

“In addition, she championed the under-represented, gave a voice to those who weren’t being heard and held those in power to account.”

Other awards won at the ceremony, organised by the Society of Editors, included Martyn McLaughlin of the The Scotsman for daily/Sunday reporter of the year, and Charles Thomson of the Yellow Advertiser for weekly reporter of the year.

Scoop of the year went to the Carlisle-based News and Star for its coverage of Zholia Alemi, a fake psychiatrist who worked for 22 years with no qualification.

The Manchester Evening News won the award for website of the year, while the Belfast Telegraph was named winner of the daily/Sunday newspaper of the year (with a circulation above 15,000).

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