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New journalism bursary founded in ex-weekly reporter’s memory

Claire ProsserA new bursary for aspiring journalists has been founded in memory of a former weekly newspaper reporter.

The National Council for the Training of Journalists has announced the launch of the Claire Prosser bursary award as part of the Journalism Diversity Fund.

Claire, pictured above left, died in December 2014 following heart surgery and was the first director of the BBC’s Journalism Training Scheme.

She began her career with the Surrey Herald in 1978 later gaining her pre-entry qualification at Harlow College, where she met her husband Paul Clabburn.

In 28 years with the BBC, she served in roles including Ceefax editor and Radio 5 Live’s launch output editor.

The new award, set up by Paul and daughter Ellen, is a £5,000 contribution to a successful Journalism Diversity Fund applicant’s bursary and will also include a work experience opportunity with the BBC, where Claire served for 28 years.

To be eligible for the award applicants must have secured a place on an NCTJ-accredited course and aspire to be a broadcast or digital journalist in their career.

Said Paul: “We are delighted to be able to work with the NCTJ and support a bursary in Claire’s name. Claire was able to put into action her belief in equality of opportunity via her leadership of the BBC’s Journalism Trainee Scheme.

“She believed strongly that journalism, a profession she loved and spent her life in, should be open to anyone from any background. It is that spirit we are seeking to keep alive. This bursary is part of her legacy.”

The JDF was set up by the newspaper industry in 2005 and supports the training of journalists from ethnically and socially diverse backgrounds by meeting the financial cost of completing an NCTJ-accredited course.

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher said: “The NCTJ and Journalism Diversity Fund are proud to support and administer the Claire Prosser bursary award. Claire made a real difference to the careers of so many young people and we hope to continue her legacy with this award.”