Sally Hayden is an award-winning journalist and photographer currently focused on migration, conflict and humanitarian crises.

She has worked with VICE, VICE News, CNN International, the Financial Times Magazine, TIME, the Thomson Reuters Foundation, BBC, the Washington Post, the Irish Times, the Guardian, the New York Times, Magnum Photos, Channel 4 News, Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera, NBC News, Maclean’s, the Sunday Times, Newsweek, RTE, ELLE, Marie Claire, ZEIT Online, Voice of America, the Independent, the Telegraph, Deutsche Welle, IRIN, the New Statesman, the New Internationalist, the National, the Huffington Post and ITV News, and had stories and photojournalism republished on six continents by outlets including Pacific Standard, National Geographic, NPR, the Times of India, Euronews, the Christian Science Monitor, Sky News, the Observer, the Globe and Mail, ABC News, Forbes and TeleSUR English, among many others.

HEFAT certified, Sally has reported from countries including Nigeria, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, France, Germany, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Ireland, the UK, Lebanon, Jordan, DR Congo, Panama, Cambodia, the Gambia, Liberia, Hungary, Luxembourg, Rwanda, Malawi, Ethiopia, Madagascar, the US, Italy, Malta, Kenya, Uganda and Sierra Leone. Her writing has been translated into nine languages and she has appeared as a guest on national and international media. She is a member of the Frontline Freelance Register and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Sally has a law degree from University College Dublin and an MSc in International Politics from Trinity College, Dublin, where her thesis was on post-conflict societies and theories of civil war resolution. She has worked as a trainer at the BBC Academy; a guest lecturer at London College of Communication, New York University, Princeton, TU Dublin and UCD; and volunteered as a mentor for the Refugee Journalism Project.

She is currently working on a book which will be published by HarperCollins, 4th Estate (UK) and Melville House (US) in early 2022.

Interview: IJNET’s Journalist of the Month; University Times



  • Shortlisted, best ‘broadsheet features’ & ‘foreign coverage’, Newsbrands Irish Journalism Awards, 2020.
  • UCD alumni award for law, 2020.
  • ‘Coronavirus journalism excellence’, Press Gazette, 2020.
  • Shortlisted, best investigation, Amnesty International Media Awards, 2020.
  • Reuters bursary, Rory Peck Training Fund, 2020.
  • Member of Transparency International’s Anti-Corruption Award Committee, 2020.
  • Journalists for Transparency grantee, 2019-2020.
  • Simon Cumbers Media Fund awardee, 2019.
  • Winner, ‘journalism excellence’ award at the Irish Red Cross Humanitarian Awards, 2019.
  • Winner, ‘foreign coverage’ of the year, Newsbrands Irish Journalism Awards, 2019.
  • Logan nonfiction fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good, 2019.
  • Forbes ’30 Under 30′ in media, Europe, 2019.
  • Finalist in the international freelancer category, Kurt Schork Memorial Awards in International Journalism, 2019.
  • Named as a ‘Trinity trailblazer’, by Trinity College, Dublin, 2019.
  • Shortlisted, Amnesty International Media Award for innovation, 2019.
  • Speaker at the International Journalism Festival, Perugia, 2019.
  • Winner, ‘foreign coverage’ of the year, Newsbrands Ireland Journalism Awards, 2018.
  • Shortlisted, Newsbrands Irish Journalism Awards: ‘features writer (broadsheet)’ & ‘young journalist of the year’, 2018.
  • Finalist, Frontline Club Awards, print, 2018.
  • Finalist in the international freelancer category of the Kurt Schork Memorial Awards in International Journalism, 2018.
  • First prize, European Migration Media Awards, 2018.
  • United Nations Foundation press fellow, 2018.
  • Named a member of Transparency International’s Anti-Corruption Award Committee, 2018.
  • US News Media Alliance ‘Rising Star’, 2018.
  • Speaker at the International Journalism Festival, Perugia, 2018.
  • Finalist (and a separate project longlisted) for One World Media’s refugee reporting award, 2018.
  • Finalist for One World Media’s digital media award, 2018.
  • Finalist for Amnesty International’s Gaby Rado Award for best new journalist, 2018.
  • Longlisted for Amnesty International media award for best feature, 2018.
  • Selected for the Women in Journalism mentoring programme, 2018.
  • Shortlisted for ‘young journalist of the year’ at the Irish Journalism Awards, 2017.
  • Award from the Mary Raftery Refugee Crisis Media Fund, 2017.
  • International Journalists’ Network ‘Journalist of the Month’, May, 2017.
  • Shortlisted for One World Media’s ‘New Voice’ award, 2017.
  • One of a team awarded a Journalists for Transparency grant, 2017.
  • Included in Stellar Magazine’s ‘100 Irish Women Who Inspire Us’, 2017.
  • Fellow at the International Anti-Corruption Conference in Panama, 2016.
  • Best National/World News Site for VICE News at the Online Media Awards, 2016.
  • Scholarship recipient for a Magnum Photos Professional Practice Weekend, 2014.
  • Winner of the Suas 8×8 Photography Competition, 2014.
  • Winner of a 2014 Simon Cumbers Media Award, which funded a trip to Rwanda to write about media freedom.
  • Winner of the 2013 Simon Cumbers Media Award for Print Journalism, which funded a trip to Malawi to write about women’s rights.
  • Nominated for ‘Journalist of the Year’​ and ‘Travel Writer of the Year’​ at the National Student Media Awards, 2012.
  • Shortlisted for ‘Features (Arts and Culture) Journalist of the Year’ at the National Student Media Awards, 2010.
  • Winner, Irish Star Young Journalist Competition, 2006.

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