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Conference on freelance work in conflict areas this Saturday at Ryerson
By  CMG  •  Posted on  March 12, 2015

The Canadian Media Guild Freelance Branch is pleased to co-sponsor the first Ali Mustafa Memorial Lecture, taking place this Saturday night (March 14) at Ryerson University in Toronto. “People’s Journalism: Reporting Under Fire” is a fundraising event for the Ali Mustafa Memorial Collective.

Ali Mustafa was a Toronto-based freelance photojournalist who was killed while working in Syria on March 9th, 2014. Shortly after his death, a group of his friends and colleagues set up the Ali Mustafa Memorial Collective to honour his life by offering an annual award for freelancers. This award will provide financial support to other freelance journalists and solidarity activists. The Collective notes that freelancers like Ali are among the most vulnerable media workers in conflict zones, and yet without them we would know little about war’s impact on the lives of those on the front line.

“The Freelance Branch of the Canadian Media Guild was formed in order to provide support in a variety of ways for freelance journalists and other precarious workers. I’m glad we can be part of this weekend’s fundraiser and provide a judge for the first Ali Mustafa Memorial Award, which will be presented next year,” said Don Genova, president of CMG-Freelance.

Speakers at the event include journalists Sharif Kouddous (with Democracy Now and the Nation Institute, currently based in Egypt) and Jihan Hafiz (with The Real News Network and Al Jazeera, currently based in Ferguson, Missouri) on their experiences working as social-justice oriented freelancers in conflict areas.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door with all proceeds going towards the establishment of the award and are available through Eventbrite. The event is sponsored by the Ali Mustafa Memorial Collective, the Canadian Media Guild Freelance Branch, and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression.

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