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Bursary launched in former regional journalist’s memory ends after seven years

Claire Prosser newA journalism training bursary launched in memory of a former regional journalist is being closed after seven years.

The National Council for the Training of Journalists has announced the closure of the Claire Prosser bursary, set up in 2016 to fund training for aspiring broadcast or digital journalists from all walks of life.

Its eight recipients received a minimum £5,000 contribution to their funding and work experience opportunities at BBC News, Press Association and, initially, Wire Free Productions.

HTFP has asked the NCTJ for an explanation about why the scheme is coming to an end.

Claire, who began her career on the Surrey Herald and later held senior roles at the BBC, including serving as the first director of its Journalism Trainee Scheme, died suddenly in 2014.

The NCTJ then partnered with Claire’s widower Paul Clabburn and her daughter Ellen Clabburn to launch the bursary.

Paul, who met Claire, pictured, in 1978 while both were studying for their NCTJ qualifications at the then-Harlow Technical College, said: “Having never been involved with anything like it, I had no idea what to expect when we started the bursary. But it’s been brilliant.

“When looking through applications with Ellen, we talked about what Claire would do, which is not expect people to have a massive amount of qualifications or experience, but to show enthusiasm and talent.

“We also looked for how they came across in terms of work ethic and their willingness to learn and we thought that applied to all that we chose. If being awarded the bursary has helped in any way, then it’s a job done.

He added: “I’m still in close contact with some of the recipients and that’s lovely.”

Nikki Akinola, the NCTJ’s senior diversity and inclusion co-ordinator, said: “We’ve heard Claire was an inspirational person who was passionate about helping budding journalists kickstart their careers.

“Over the years, the Claire Prosser bursary has made an invaluable contribution to the Journalism Diversity Fund, enabling talented journalists to pursue broadcast or digital reporting.

“The bursary has been a great tribute to Claire and her legacy, and we are proud to have partnered with Paul and Ellen on the initiative.

“We would like to thank them for their work and support on this brilliant project.”