Rosa Furneaux has been awarded the 2024 Sir Harry Evans Global Fellowship in Investigative Journalism, a landmark partnership among Reuters, Durham University and Tina Brown CBE, award-winning journalist and widow of acclaimed newspaper editor Sir Harry Evans.
The Fellowship offers talented early career journalists the chance to pursue a nine-month investigative project in a Reuters newsroom along with access to Durham University experts and resources.
Sir Harry, a Durham University alumnus, is well-known for his successful ten-year campaign to win compensation for the victims of the thalidomide drug whilst editor at the Sunday Times, and for campaigning to introduce free cervical smear tests for women while at the helm of The Northern Echo.
So it is fitting that Ms Furneaux, who works at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London – whose co-founder Elaine Potter was a member of the Insight team under Sir Harry – is committed to reporting on health inequalities throughout the world.
Ms Furneaux has already reported on major failures by Covid-19 vaccine platform Covax; exposed some of the baby formula industry’s unethical marketing techniques in Asia; and revealed the global spread of a substandard, contaminated cancer medicine.
The Sir Harry Evans Fellowship Committee was particularly impressed with Ms Furneaux’s moral conviction, gravitas and focus on exposing wrong-doing.
She was chosen out of more than 400 applicants to be the 2024 Sir Harry Evans Global Fellow and will take up her role early next year.
Ms Furneaux, 31, who is originally from Norfolk in the East of England, takes the reins from Texan reporter Waylon Cunningham who was the inaugural Sir Harry Evans Global Fellow in 2023.
She said she was delighted to be given the opportunity to further hone her skills with the support of Reuters, Durham University and Tina Brown.
Ms Furneaux added: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have been selected for this year’s Fellowship.
“It’s a huge honour to be taking on this role in Sir Harry’s name, and to have the opportunity to work with Reuters’ outstanding investigative team and Durham’s world-class faculty.
“I can’t wait to get started.”
Steve Stecklow, a Reuters investigative reporter and chair of the Fellowship Committee judging panel, said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming Rosa to the Reuters enterprise team.
“She is passionate, tenacious and eager to learn new skills – all great qualities for an early-career investigative reporter.”
Tina Brown said: “Rosa is exactly the kind of reporter Harry would have jumped to hire for the Sunday Times Insight team.
“She has the rigor, resourcefulness and empathy required to report out stories that really matter.”
Ms Furneaux will receive mentorship and access to resources at Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study, which hosts projects and international fellows working across academic disciplines.
Professor Karen O’Brien, Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, said: “Though early in her career, Rosa has proved her commitment to truth telling and covering stories of international importance, just like Sir Harry.
“Through this Fellowship she can further develop her investigative work on health inequalities, and we look forward to supporting her at Durham.”
The Sir Harry Evans Global Fellowship in Investigative Journalism is part of a program honouring Sir Harry Evans, primarily supported by David Thomson, Chairman of Thomson Reuters, Reuters News, Durham University and Tina Brown.
Sir Harry was an undergraduate at Durham’s University College and went on to enjoy an acclaimed 70-year career in investigative journalism and publishing.
He gained international recognition for his fearless campaigning, and in 2002 he was voted the Greatest British Newspaper Editor of all time by his media peers.
Sir Harry also authored fifteen books, including his celebrated memoir My Paper Chase, and was editor-at-large for Reuters in the US from 2011 until his death in 2020 aged 92.
In May this year the Fellowship and Sir Harry’s legacy were celebrated at the first annual Sir Harry Evans Global Summit in Investigative Journalism, Truth Tellers, held at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London.
The event brought together more than 400 editors, broadcasters and reporters, including American journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein who famously exposed the Watergate scandal that led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974.