Richard Beeston Bursary

The winners of the first
Richard Beeston Bursaries 2014 were announced at the Frontline Awards
in London on October 16th 2014.

You can watch the awards ceremony at:

Winner Of The Richard Beeston Bursary
(Outward-Bound) Ayman Oghanna

Ayman Oghanna

London-born Ayman Oghanna is a 29-year old journalist and photographer who specialises in the Middle East. Half-British, half-Iraqi, he now lives in Istanbul. After earning an M.A. in International Relations and Middle East Studies from the University of St Andrews, Ayman worked for The Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon, before leaving to study journalism at Columbia University in New York. He moved to Iraq in 2009 to begin working as a freelance journalist. He has since covered much of the Arab World. His stories, photographs and videos have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, Newsweek, National Geographic, VICE and Al Jazeera America. He is proud to be a founding member of the Frontline Freelance Register, dedicated to protecting and uniting freelancers reporting in foreign countries and conflict zones.

Ayman's range of experience, multi-media skills and instinctive understanding of what makes a good story, both visually and in print, impressed the judges amidst very stiff competition. His interest in the Middle East, and focus on Iraq, makes him the perfect recipient of the first outward-bound Richard Beeston Bursary.

Winner Of The Richard Beeston Bursary
(Incoming) Abeer Ayyoub

Abeer Ayyoub

Gaza-city born Abeer Ayyoub is 27 years old. Having received a BA in English literature from The Islamic University of Gaza in 2010, she began her career as a human rights consultant at Human Rights Watch the following year. Since 2012 she has been working as a journalist, based in Gaza, for Haaretz newspaper, Al-Monitor and freelancing for other international media outlets including The Guardian and The Mirror. Over the past year she has been working part-time as a researcher for GISHA, the Legal Centre for (Palestinian) Freedom of Movement an Israeli NGO, and studying Hebrew as well as working towards a master's degree in International Relations.

Abeer impressed the judges with her ambition, open-mindedness and hunger for experience. In particular we were struck by her statement that while she had been working for 3 years as a journalist in Gaza, she has yet to be exposed to a different atmosphere or a different kind of news reporting other than coverage of the conflict. The Richard Beeston Bursary will allow her to broaden her experience by working at The Times in London.

Applications for
Richard Beeston Bursaries 2015 offered in association with
The Times Newspaper will open in September 2015

This award of £6,000 is for an aspiring British or UK-based foreign correspondent to spend six weeks abroad, researching and reporting on a foreign news story, in association with The Times newspaper. A further award of £6,000 is available to a young journalist based in Israel, Lebanon or the Palestinian territories to undertake a six week fellowship on The Times foreign desk in London. Applicants should have at least two years journalistic experience, be under the age of thirty on the application closing date and have a professional command of English.

How to Apply

Applications should include:

For outward bound applicants: a detailed outline of the proposed destination of travel and the broad nature of the story which you are intending to report on;
For incoming applicants: an explanation of why you would benefit from this fellowship which seeks to encourage dialogue between Britain and the Middle East.

For all applicants:

A brief CV.

Five samples of published press journalism, excluding blogs.

A journalistic referee.

A scan of your passport.

The Judges reserve the right to request further information at a later stage of the application process.

Applications should be submitted by
9.00am on Monday 28th September 2015
by email attachment for the attention of Natasha Fairweather at


  • Dick & Hazel Beeston
  • Fiona Beeston & Jean-Jacques Guilbaud
  • Jennifer & Julian Browne
  • Stephen Lambert & Jenni Russell
  • Gerard & Katrin Legrain
  • Jonathan Miller
  • Elisabeth Murdoch
  • News UK
  • Linda Shaughnessy


  • Natasha Fairweather
  • Suzy Jagger
  • Anthony Loyd
  • Ben Macintyre
  • Roland Watson

Advisory Committee

  • James Harding
  • David Horovitz
  • Roula Khalaf
  • Sam Kiley
  • Jon Snow
richard beeston journalist bursary

Richard Beeston, the distinguished and much-loved foreign editor of The Times, died of cancer in 2013 soon after his 50th birthday. After a short stint as an apprentice reporter on Johannesburg's Financial Mail and the Coventry Evening Telegraph, Richard moved to Beirut at the height of the civil war in 1984, aged just 21, to work for The Daily Star. Thus began a life-long fascination with Lebanon, and the Middle East in general. Forced back to London by the spate of kidnappings of foreign journalists, Richard joined The Times in 1986 and was to work for the paper for the rest of his life. As the fireman on the foreign desk, Richard carried his passport - bristling with visas for warzones - with him at all times. He was one of the first reporters into Halabja, in Kurdistan, in 1988 after Saddam's gas attack and he covered wars, invasions, revolutions, natural and man-made disasters - and the odd good news story - in the 27 years which followed. He was posted to Jerusalem


as The Times's Middle East Correspondent in 1991, and became the Moscow Bureau Chief in 1994 during the Chechen War. His return to London shortly preceded 9/11 and a decade of reporting from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was to follow. Richard was made Foreign Editor of The Times in 2008, shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. He travelled to Afghanistan, Israel and Italy in the months running up to his death.

The bursaries being set up in his name are designed to address Richard's passionate belief that good journalists are not forged in the newsroom, but in the field. He loved to mentor aspiring young foreign correspondents and to give them the opportunity to develop their reporting and writing skills by working on a fast-breaking news story. He cared deeply about the Middle East, and the fact that the Iraqi and Israeli Ambassadors sat side by side at his memorial service is testament to the even-handed nature of his reporting.