Lyra McKee, 29, was shot in the head by the New IRA while reporting on rioting in the Creggan area on Thursday 18 April 2019.
"Lyra McKee had a talent for inspiring people," Paul Bradshaw wrote in this blog post.
"She had zigged and zagged - from working with Headliners and Children’s Express and BBC Blast as a 15- and 16- and 17-year-old, to dropping out of university; from being part of the news startup Qluso, to working for a US tech publication from her base in Northern Ireland."
The hardest thing I've ever had to write. Lyra McKee, my former student who was shot and killed this week. https://t.co/KX2l0RzTfa— Paul Bradshaw (@paulbradshaw) April 20, 2019
From teaching online investigative journalism to speaking at the Newsrewired conference in April 2013 and again in July 2014, she has greatly contributed to shape investigative journalism.
When you really believe in a story, you will do anything to get it out there.Lyra McKee
"Investigative journalism can be an expensive venture," McKee said while highlighting her time investigating the death of Northern Irish politician Robert Bradford.
Despite initially failing to gather enough funds, perseverance lead her to Beaconreader and ultimately funding that enabled her to continue to investigate the story.
Lyra McKee (1990-2019), Irish journalist, writer and lesbian activist killed while reporting. Winner of 2016 Scottish Refugee Council and Write to End Violence Against Women awards. Penned letter to “my 14 year old self.”https://t.co/BpiWqCHNc2 pic.twitter.com/RpWNwYYGrO— Womans_Place_UK (@Womans_Place_UK) April 20, 2019
"When you really believe in a story, you will do anything to get it out there," said McKee.
She also regularly blogged about stories she was working on. As a result, she developed a community of readers who began assisting her.
"They were less like readers and more like people who were invested in my work," she described them.
Tributes have been paid to the young reporter by many colleagues in the media and publishing industry.
"Lyra McKee was gifted, brave, kind and funny. I’m proud to have been her literary agent," Janklow and Nesbit agent Will Francis wrote of his client on the company's website.
Funeral of murdered journalist Lyra McKee will be a cross-community, cross-border, multi-cultural funeral. Politicians & clergy from across religious divide will be there.— Mark Simpson (@BBCMarkSimpson) April 23, 2019
Irish President & Foreign Minister are attending.
It’ll take place in the heart of Belfast at 1pm tomw. pic.twitter.com/vLfzUJrz8z
Mathew Ingram, chief digital writer at Columbia Journalism review, wrote: "She was friendly, and smart, and quick, and she was also an excellent writer and journalist on top of all that."
A reminder that CJR collected tributes to Lyra McKee, the Irish journalist who was killed last week in Derry, as a tribute to her life and her work. She will be missed: https://t.co/RE0JpuoA8o— Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) April 22, 2019
Friends of murdered journalist Lyra McKee have painted red hand prints across the office of a dissident republican group https://t.co/cr6cSZonVf— SkyNews (@SkyNews) April 22, 2019
To preserve McKee's legacy, a crowdfunding campaign was set up on GoFundMe. It is just short of its £60,000 goal at the time of publishing this article, with all funds going to the family of Lyra McKee for funeral expenses.
"I had the pleasure to get to know Lyra through her working on the grassroots campaign to reform the law of libel in Northern Ireland. Lyra was a passionate defender of press freedom and exposing the truth," wrote Michael Harris, who set up the campaign.
National Union of Journalists’ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet has sent the campaign a message of support:
"Lyra’s killing is a shocking tragedy, one that has senselessly cut short the career of a journalist and author who had already achieved so much. Lyra was a proud member of the NUJ’s Belfast and District Branch where she had many friends and colleagues, and was known for her integrity, wit and determination.
"The NUJ’s thoughts and collective condolences are with her partner Sara, Lyra’s mum and the rest of her family and friends. She will be much missed in the union and the wider industry. We would wholeheartedly encourage donations to this fund as a practical act of solidarity in memory of Lyra, to assist her partner and family at this awful time."
Free daily newsletter
- 'Personal approach and honesty' are the secret to membership success during the coronavirus pandemic
- 159 non-white speakers you need at your next journalism event to avoid 'whanels'
- 2020 challenge: retain new subscribers in a post-pandemic world
- How can we improve team communication in times of working from home?
- World’s leading expert on design thinking to give keynote at Newsrewired