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Publisher’s cash boost to help increase diversity in journalism

Alan EdmundsA regional publisher is set to give a cash boost to a fund which aims to help more people from disadvantaged backgrounds enter journalism.

Reach plc has announced it was to become a strategic partner of the National Council for the Training of Journalists and a financial supporter of the Journalism Diversity Fund.

The fund awards bursaries to aspiring journalists from diverse backgrounds who do not have the financial means to support themselves through NCTJ training.

It was established nearly 15 years ago with a £100,000 donation from the publisher-owned rights licensing and database business NLA media access.

Reach regional director Alan Edmunds, pictured, said: “The Journalism Diversity Fund is a very important initiative; it’s helped dozens of talented people forge a career in journalism who might not otherwise have been able to.

“And so we at Reach are delighted to now have a partnership which offers practical and financial support for the fund.

“As our newsrooms become more diverse, so our journalism becomes more encompassing, and the better we are able serve the communities we cover.”

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Reach has agreed to become a strategic partner of the NCTJ, and a sponsor of the Journalism Diversity Fund.

“It is vital to the NCTJ’s role in preparing students for employment that we have close ties with those at the industry’s coalface, and we are looking forward to involving Reach in all areas of our work.

“Reach’s decision to become a backer of the JDF clearly demonstrates the company’s commitment to removing barriers of entry to the journalism sector, and is a further indicator of the value placed by the industry on a scheme which has helped more than 340 people from disadvantaged backgrounds since it was set up 13 years ago.”