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Ethnic minority journalists urged to ‘shape the news agenda’

Monika PlahaJournalists from ethnic minorities have been urged to “shape the news agenda” and take advantage of potential funding to train.

The National Union of Journalists is calling for applicants for its George Viner Fund, which aims to improve the diversity of journalists working in the British and Irish media.

The fund provides bursaries for black and minority ethnic students to help with studies and subsistence.

The annual report for the National Council for the Training of Journalism into diversity in the journalist industry recently revealed the proportion of editors from non-white ethnic backgrounds is only 10pc compared to 14pc in junior roles.

In a statement, the NUJ said: “We need black and minority ethnic journalists not just reporting the news, but also shaping the news agenda.

“If you are interested, or know somebody who would benefit from the bursary, the deadline for this year’s applications is Friday 8 July.

“George Viner scholars receive much more than financial assistance. They become a part of the NUJ family, are invited to conferences and meetings and introduced to members from across the media, publishing and PR, as well as having the support of the trustees throughout their course.

“It’s just been brilliant in helping people from all sorts of backgrounds to really achieve their goals and their dreams of becoming a journalist, and to really share those underrepresented ideas and those underrepresented stories.”

BBC Panorama journalist Monika Plaha, a previous beneficiary of the scheme, has urged others to apply.

Monika, pictured, said: “Without the NUJ and without the George Viner scholarship, I really don’t think I would be where I am today.”

More information about the George Viner Fund can be found here.