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Grenfell activist among finalists for journalism diversity scheme

Charlene WhiteTen finalists including a Grenfell Tower activist have been announced as part of a scheme aimed at promoting diversity in journalism.

ITV News and Media Trust have officially unveiled the finalists of the ‘Breaking Into News’ initiative, which is aimed at addressing the need for improved representation of “diverse audiences” across the industry.

One finalist has been chosen from each of ITV’s 10 broadcasting regions across the United Kingdom, and will present a news report on a subject of their choice to judges with help from journalist mentors.

Finalists include ITV London winner Hadeel Elshak, a sixth form student who will create a report on the handling of Grenfell fire and its effect on the engagement of young people in politics, and ITV Granada winner Francesca Dean. a receptionist from Blackburn with cerebral palsy who will report on the difficulties faced by people with disabilities when seeking work.

ITV broadcaster Charlene White, pictured, said: “‘Breaking Into News’ has consistently attracted some of the brightest and most promising new journalistic talent from across the country, especially amongst the harder to reach pool of diverse and underprivileged talent.

“It’s about finding new and original voices in news and reflecting the society we live in, so I’m honoured to be fronting this fantastic competition once more and hugely passionate about providing more opportunity for those exceptionally talented to rise to the top and indeed break into news.”

The winner will receive £400 worth of journalistic equipment and the chance to have their local news report aired on ITV.

The full list of finalists is as follows:

ITV Anglia – Steven Portman
ITV News Calendar – Kay Loveridge
ITV Central – Shanice-Kay Boulding
ITV Granada – Francesca Dean
ITV London – Hadeel Elshak
ITV Meridian – Jazz Halstead
ITV Tyne & Border – Hayley McCullen
ITv Wales – Olver Youd
ITV West Country – Malgorzata Bartram
UTV Northern Ireland – Peter Moor