Where are they now?
Here is a snapshot of what some previous bursary recipients had to say about the fund and how it has helped them:
“People like me who don’t tick the standard boxes tend not to have the financial recourse nor the confidence to achieve great things without scheme such as the Journalism Diversity Fund… It has given me the equality of opportunity to pursue all of my ideas, which I hope will lead to a fun and fruitful career in journalism.”
Sophie Mei Lan Slack, University of Salford, 2012-14
Sophie is currently a reporter for the Wakefield Express, Pontefract and Castleford Express and South Elmsall Express and is due to start on the BBC Journalism Trainee Scheme in September 2014.
“Newsrooms today should reflect the communities they represent, but journalism is not an easy industry to break into. The fund has been instrumental in helping me get my foot in the door and I couldn’t have done it otherwise.”
Khaleda Rahman, News Associates, London, 2012-13
Khaleda is a trainee reporter for Mail Online, having previously worked as a reporter for the News Shopper series and journalism diversity intern for the NCTJ.
“I was only able to study a postgraduate journalism degree because of the help I received from the Journalism Diversity Fund. The course helped me develop my news writing skills and equipped me with knowledge of media law, which is vital for any journalist working in a professional newsroom. The Journalism Diversity fund gave me my lucky break and now I’m reaping the benefits in the best possible way.”
Robert Payling, University of Sheffield, 2010-11
Robert is currently a journalist for Sky Sports News.
Claire French, City College Brighton & Hove, 2010-11*
Claire is the business editor at The News, Portsmouth, having previously worked for the Surrey Advertiser.
“Without the Journalism Diversity Fund, I would not be a journalist today. I wouldn’t be able to walk into a room full of people and say ‘yes, I’m a hack and I’m proud of it’ and I certainly wouldn’t have all the anecdotes I have now: I have met some amazing people.”
Chinwe Akomah, University of Central Lancashire, 2007-2008*
Chinwe is currently based in Auckland as chief reporter at Insurance Business Australia, Key Media.
“I spent two years after university trying to get as much journalistic experience as possible. At one stage I had seven jobs to make ends meet. Without the fund I would not have been able to afford my NCTJ course and build upon my previous experience. I am of course indebted and very grateful to the Journalism Diversity Find and its sponsors for the support they have given me to enable me to progress in my career.”
Sam Smith, News Associates, 2009-2010*
Sam is assistant foreign editor at The Independent on a freelance basis, working mainly on the ‘i’ newspaper.
“The Journalism Diversity Fund paid for my course fees and I also received a contribution towards my living costs. The Journalism Diversity Fund intern was also really helpful with giving me contacts for my work experience. I managed to arrange a week at the Independent on Sunday thanks to the fund.”
Alexandra Rucki, University of Sheffield, 2010-2011*
Alexandra is an online journalist for the London Evening Standard, having previously worked for the Wandsworth Guardian.
*also achieved the National Qualification for Journalists (NQJ) – the professional, senior qualification offered by the NCTJ.