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Bursaries on offer after Diversity Fund gets cash boost

A bid to attract more people into journalism from ethnically and socially diverse backgrounds is continuing, with a second cash boost from the Newspaper Licensing Agency.

The Journalism Diversity Fund is offering bursaries to aspiring journalists for the second year running after it received a second donation of £100,000 from the NLA, as well as cash contributions from publishing companies including Associated Newspapers, Guardian Newspapers, News International and Pearson.

The charitable fund gives financial help to people who might otherwise be put off from joining the industry because they cannot afford to train, and also offers mentoring and work placements.

It is administered by the National Council for the Training of Journalists, and earlier this year six journalism hopefuls were awarded bursaries to help pay for training.

They are now all studying at either Nottingham Trent University, West Kent College, London’s noSWeat training centre, the University of Central Lancashire or Sheffield College.

Martin Stevenson, managing director of the NLA, said: “As an organisation representing newspaper publishers, we understand the need for our national newspapers to reflect the views and make-up of our multi-cultural society.

“Ethnic minorities are under-represented in journalism.

“The Journalism Diversity Fund gives those wishing to enter journalism the training and head start they would not otherwise have. We are proud to be associated with this initiative and have donated £200k to the fund since its inception.”

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher, who was today due to take part in a debate about ‘The New Journalist’ at the Society of Editors’ conference in Glasgow, said: “When we refer to the new journalist, we tend to think of how digital developments, multi-media newsrooms and multi-platform products are demanding journalists with a wider range of skills.

“But we also need to think of multi-cultural newsrooms and how we can ensure our new journalists are more representative.”

As well as the bursaries, the NCTJ says there are several other areas of development under the fund.

A Role Model Scheme will aim to increase visibility of journalists and inspire others to pursue careers in the industry, and a series of events for Higher Education Careers Advisors, educating them about routes into the industry, will also be held.

Three research projects have also been commissioned by the Publishing Skills Group, focusing on diversity in publishing as a whole.

For more information about the Journalism Diversity Fund, or to apply for a bursary, visit www.journalismdiversityfund.com.

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