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Regional newspapers back paid internship scheme

Budding journalists will have the chance to take part in a paid internship scheme at a number of regional newspapers after a new initiative was launched.

The Journalism Diversity Fund has set up the scheme to provide interns with a work experience placement of up to three months at a regional newspaper and will provide grants to participants to cover their travel and living costs.

Titles supporting the pilot project include the Nottingham Post, Sevenoaks Chronicle, South London Press, The Buckinghamshire Examiner and a number of Newsquest titles.

The Journalism Diversity Fund is run by the National Council for the Training of Journalists to help budding reporters from diverse backgrounds into the industry, by giving them bursaries towards attending courses.

The scheme will be initially piloted for one year and those wishing to apply must be a recipient of the Journalism Diversity Fund and have achieved the NCTJ “gold standard” – achieving A-C grades in all modules and 100wpm shorthand.

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher said: “We want to give our bursary recipients the opportunity to get meaningful, hands-on experience in preparation for a career in journalism, while providing the industry with well-trained, diverse trainees who will reflect the communities which they serve.”

Following the pilot, the scheme may be extended if it is successful.

David Pugh, managing director of the Newspaper Licensing Agency and Journalism Diversity Fund advisory board member, said: “As a sponsor of the Journalism Diversity Fund I am delighted that our annual donation is being put to such practical use.

“Despite these tough economic times, the media industry is committed to encouraging and increasing diversity in newsrooms across the UK.”