Spreading the word

By Melissa Allison-Forbes, bursary recipient 2007-2008

I was over the moon when I was told that I would be the new journalism intern at the NCTJ and would be responsible for administering and promoting the Journalism Diversity Fund.

Not only would I be helping more people from diverse backgrounds get into journalism, I would be working for a company that saw my potential to be a successful journalist.

I was awarded a bursary by the fund in 2007 to finance my journalism training at Kingston University. In 2008 I achieved an MA in Journalism and the NCTJ Certificate in Journalism.

Some people do not see journalism as a career option. They see it as an elitist profession – only for people from white, middle and upper class backgrounds. Although those backgrounds dominate the profession, more people from diverse backgrounds are needed in UK newsrooms to reflect an increasingly diverse society.

Since the beginning of May I have been responsible for administering and promoting the Journalism Diversity Fund. I am always thinking of new ways to encourage more people to apply. As the intern I will promote the fund to schools, sixth forms, colleges, libraries and adult learning centres, local, national and ethnic media, and I will regularly update the website and social networking pages.

There is still a long way to go before UK newsrooms will fully reflect society. This is a big task and not one the fund can do alone. The Journalism Diversity Fund’s aim is to let people know that no matter what their background, journalism is a viable career. More diversity will exist in newsrooms with funding available to those who can prove their diversity, talent and financial need.