Engaged Reading Time - Issue #32
On Saturday morning, while my daughter bounced with one of her best friends for his birthday, I was polishing off the latest paying subscriber edition of this newsletter in the café above the trampoline park. I opened a new tab, to look up a link, and the latest headline on MediaGazer referenced Lyra McKee, a friend who was editor of that site, among her many other talents.
I presumed she'd won an award, or something, and checked back when I'd sorted the link.
This is a one-off version of the newsletter to pay tribute to Lyra. There's some tributes from mutual friends, and others. There's some of the best of her writing.
Lyra's death has cast a pall over the weekend of so many of us. She was someone from an unconventional journalism background, that seized the opportunities that digital offered, networked like a whirlwind, and did incredible journalism. That we lost her in such a way is an incredible tragedy.
Paul Bradshaw, who taught Lyra, supported and championed here and knew her well, writes a touching and thoughtful tribute.
Grasping at memories
Sophie, a former Interactive Journalism MA student of mine, captures the essence of a lot of people's friendships with Lyra - maintained through random DMs, sometimes serious and focused, sometimes fun. Lyra buzzed with ideas - but was often trying to help others realise their ideas, too. Back after I went independent she encouraged me to crowd-fund a book. Unlike her, I never had the courage.
My friend Lyra McKee lost her life seeking the truth
Another tribute from a journalist who knew her.
Lyra McKee didn’t die in the cause of Irish ‘freedom’. She was Irish freedom
Dissident republicans have silenced a woman who told the stories of their forgotten victims, says Irish writer Susan McKay
In her own words
Letter to my 14 Year old Self
Possibly the most famous of Lyra's writings. It was adapted into the video below.
Decades After Northern Ireland’s “Troubles,” Families of the Dead are Still Seeking Answers—and Taking the Investigations Into Their Own Hands
Janet Donnelly’s unarmed father was shot point-blank by a British solider. She spent 20 years unraveling the Army's cover-up.
Suicide of the Ceasefire Babies
In Northern Ireland, more people took their own lives in the 16 years after the Troubles than died during them. Why? Lyra McKee finds out.
Lyra's original site went down sometime in 2015, and was turned into a spam domain. But thanks to the Wayback Machine, you can experience her early writing.
The Last Story of Robert Bradford by Lyra McKee — Beacon
Lyra's crowd-funded work, which I supported back in the day, is (again) now only available via the Wayback Machine.
New Year’s Resolution
The last entry on Lyra's blog. Her resolution for 2014? "Instead of talking, it’s time to Just Fucking Do It. "
You can help
In memory of Lyra McKee
A crowd-funder to support Lyra's family and partner with the costs associated with the funeral - and to ensure her legacy.
The Last Word
The final word should go to Lyra's partner, Sara: