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Lyra McKee awarded posthumous degree by university where she trained

Lyra McKeeA journalist shot dead during a riot aged 29 has been awarded a posthumous degree by the university where she trained.

Birmingham City University has bestowed the honour upon Lyra McKee, who worked for titles including the Belfast Telegraph before her death in April 2019.

Lyra, pictured, had studied for a distance learning MA at the university between 2012 and 2014.

The Master of Arts degree in online journalism was presented to Lyra’s sister Nichola Corner and brother-in-law John Corner during the university’s first graduation ceremony of 2020 at Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

Mrs Corner said: “Lyra worked tirelessly not just in her journalism but in helping others around a wide range of causes, in Belfast and beyond, by opening doors and helping others gain useful contacts and opportunities.

“She made friendships in all walks of life, and it was the same attention to people that drove her to succeed in her writing. We feel very honoured and privileged that the university has conferred this honour upon her.

“We wish she’d been here to accept the award for herself, but we continue to be proud of her achievements as we’ve always been.”

Professor Paul Bradshaw, course leader for the MA data journalism and the MA multiplatform and mobile journalism at the university, said: “Lyra’s path to studying journalism at Birmingham City University was, like her, special.

“The tenacity and creativity that took her to BCU continued throughout her work here, and on into the successes that led to her pausing her studies. Lyra was a very special student, a very special writer, and an inspiration to many.

“It was especially important to see her achievements during that time recognised by the university — and this award demonstrates that.”