Lyra McKee is a journalist from Belfast. An impressive and passionate speakers she is also an editor at Silicon Valley-based media news site, Mediagazer, and has written for The Atlantic, BuzzFeed News, and many others.
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Lyra McKee is a journalist from Belfast, Northern Ireland. From dropping out of university aged 19 to being named one of Forbes 30 under 30 in media in Europe, she’s had a varied career. For the last six years, she has worked as an editor at Mediagazer, a Silicon Valley-based news site covering the media industry and read by everyone from academics to New York Times and Washington Post reporters.
Yet she is perhaps best known for her writing, from her moving story on Northern Ireland’s suicide crisis in the wake of its 30-year conflict, Suicide of the Ceasefire Babies, to her profile of amateur cold case detectives trying to solve the murder of their loved ones. She’s been published in The Atlantic, BuzzFeed News, Mosaic Science, and many other publications. She’s just finished her first book, about the murder of a Northern Irish politician - currently awaiting publication - and is now working on other projects.
She is represented by Will Francis at literary agency Janklow & Nesbit in London. In 2006, she won the Sky News Young Journalist of the Year for a story looking at rising suicide rates in her native North Belfast. In 2016, Forbes Magazine named her one of their 30 under 30 in Europe. She has delivered newsroom training to newspapers including The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times. She also worked for The Thomson Reuters Foundation, mentoring and overseeing investigations into financial corruption by Africa-based journalists.
She has spoken at events all over the world, including Techraking, a conference jointly organised by Google and the California Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), journalism.co.uk’s News Rewired event in London, the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy, and TEDx Stormont in Belfast. In 2014, “Letter to my 14-year-old self”, a story describing her experience of growing up as a gay person in Northern Ireland, went viral. It was later developed into the short film “Letter”, produced by Belfast-based production company Stay Beautiful films. It has since been screened at a US film festival.
LGBT rights, issues, and equality: as a gay woman who grew up in Northern Ireland, the only part of the UK where equal marriage is still illegal, Lyra is able to talk about LGBT issues, rights, and equality.
Overcoming educational underachievement and motivating youth: From dropping out at university aged 19 to being named one of Forbes 30 under 30 in Europe, Lyra can talk to youth audiences in particular about overcoming obstacles to get to your goals.
Journalism/media/careers: Having spent six years as an editor at a news site covering the disruption in journalism, Lyra can talk about innovation, digital disruption, and the future of journalism.