AddThis SmartLayers

Publisher offers three-month paid internships in regional newsrooms

David Higgerson 2022 newPublisher Reach plc is offering ten would-be journalists the chance of a paid internship in one of its regional newsrooms this summer.

The scheme, announced yesterday, is aimedat boosting ‘inclusive’ reporting within the industry, with Reach keen to hear from those from under-represented sections of the population.

The interns will be based at Reach newsrooms across the country includ ing Newcastle, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, London, Nottingham, Liverpool and Glasgow.

As well as working on the regional publications based in those cities, the interns will also get the chance to work on national titles like the Mirror and the Express.

Reach says no university degree or prior journalism experience will be required for the scheme, although candidates must demonstrate some commitment, talent or passion for storytelling.

The scheme will run for three months over the summer with each intern paired with a mentor and receiving on-the-job training to develop key newsroom skills.

Chief digital publisher David Higgerson, pictured, said: “We see this as a two-way street: firstly we hope we’ve created a new pathway for anyone considering a career in journalism to work in our hubs across the country and to learn from our editors, journalists and content creators.

“But more than that, we hope this scheme will bring in new talent and perspectives, supporting our efforts to reach new audiences and communities. We recognise that getting into journalism courses at universities isn’t an option for everyone and hope that this scheme will open doors within the industry.”

The move follows NCTJ research which found that 91pc of journalists have a degree-level or higher-level qualification – which Reach says is “not reflective of the UK population as a whole.”

The May 2023 research also showed that 73pc of journalists come from the highest social classes.

Concerns were expressed at this week’s Society of Editors conference by Northampton journalism lecturer Hilary Scott about the availability of work experience for students with the decline in the number of regional newsrooms.

Liverpool Echo editor Maria Breslin said in response: “I totally share your pain. It is making it very difficult for some titles to offer work experience.  We work closely with the universities in our area and we do work experience programmes with both them.”