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NCTJ hits £500,000 target for Journalism Diversity Fund

kimFletcherA funding programme which has helped support more than 400 journalists through their NCTJ training has now reached £500,000 a year.

The NCTJ announced in its annual report that it has raised the annual value of its Journalism Diversity Fund (JDF) to half a million pounds, following an ambitious fundraising drive.

The JDF was launched in 2005 thanks to a £100,000 donation from NLA media access and has since supported 440 aspiring journalists through their NCTJ training, helping with living costs as well as course fees.

The fund is supported financially by 23 news media publishers, broadcasters, charities and digital organisations who want to make newsrooms better reflect the communities they serve.

Since the fundraising drive was launched in 2020, the JDF’s 15th anniversary year, eleven new organisations have come on board as supporters.

They now include the Aziz Foundation, BBC, Bloomberg, BMJ, CNN International, DMG Media, Dow Jones, Financial Times, Google News Initiative, Insider Inc, ITV News, Journalists’ Charity, Newsquest, News UK, NLA media access, PA Media, The Printing Charity, Reach plc, Reuters, Sky, Society of Editors, Twitter and Yahoo UK.

NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher, pictured, said: “It started as a scheme, now it’s becoming a movement. The industry isn’t just talking about diversity, but putting up the money that can help make it happen. Indeed, if I were involved in media and was not on that list, I’d be worried I was missing out.

“The joy is that it is working. Everyone connected with the fund is delighted to have supported some diamond journalists who are now making their way in a trade they would otherwise have had little chance of joining.”

Neil O’Brien, commercial director at NLA media access, said: “NLA media access has supported the JDF from its very inception and it is a source of great pride to all of us to see the difference that the fund has made.

“The level of financial support that the JDF now receives is obviously rewarding. What is more important, however, is how this supports a growing number of potential journalists from diverse backgrounds, who are vital for the growth, development and relevance of media in the UK.”

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher set out an ambition to place even more emphasis on equality, diversity and inclusion, saying: “It’s not a bolt-on strategy and much more than a series of projects; it’s right at the centre of everything we do and everything we stand for.

“We aim to do much more to promote equality of opportunity in journalism by taking action to encourage a diverse and inclusive culture. Changing an entrenched culture is one of the biggest and hardest challenges all of us need to confront.”