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Journalists achieve 'senior' status after bursary help

Two journalists who were among the first group to receive help from the Journalism Diversity Fund have achieved ‘senior’ status.

Chinwe Akomah, 23, of the Congleton Chronicle, and Jennifer Coombes, 26, of the Ilford Recorder, both benefited from the bursary scheme after it was set up in 2006.

The Journalism Diversity Fund, which is administered by the National Council for the Training of Journalists, offers grants aspiring journalists from ethnically or socially diverse backgrounds to study an NCTJ-accredited journalism course.

Chinwe and Jennifer were among 97 trainees who achieved ‘senior’ status by passing the NCTJ’s National Certificate Examination held last month.

Chinwe completed the postgraduate diploma in journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and Jennifer completed an MA in journalism at the University of Sheffield.

Chinwe said: “Without the fund I would not have been able to take my postgraduate degree and sit the NCTJ preliminary Certificate in Journalism. I did not have any money and my parents did not have any money.

“Now that I’m a senior journalist I have so many opportunities, I’m going to look at working in senior positions in the national press and magazines.”

Jennifer added: “I’m certain I would not have got this far without the help of the Journalism Diversity Fund.

“The boost it gave me to get the bursary in the first place inspired me, when you think someone else thinks you are good enough to make it as a journalist, it really gives you that extra push.”

The deadline for the next set of applicants to the fund is 30 April – more details can be found at


kirsty bold (21/04/2010 12:49:50)
Perhaps credit should be given to those reporters who got a job to pay their way through their training. Many have gained senior status without being given money to help.