Journalism Diversity Fund awards first training bursaries of anniversary year

Eight aspiring journalists have been the first to be awarded bursaries by the Journalism Diversity Fund during its tenth anniversary year.

The following people were successful in securing bursaries to help them complete their journalism training:

  • Selina Ashraf (Press Association, London)
  • Ellie Caddick (News Associates, Manchester)
  • Emily Collis (Brighton Journalist Works)
  • Stephanie Finnegan (University of Ulster)
  • Rachael Grealish (Brighton Journalist Works)
  • Mohammed Sajad (University of Salford)
  • Axel Trendell (Harlow College)
  • David Wilkins (Brighton Journalist Works)

Bursaries are awarded to students from socially or ethnically diverse backgrounds to help them cover the cost of NCTJ-accredited course fees and associated living expenses.

Interviews took place at talkSPORT in London on Thursday, 14 May.

The panels, whose members included: Joanne Butcher, chief executive, NCTJ; Ian Cobain, senior reporter, The Guardian; Jonathan Grun, editor, Press Association; Hugh Muir, diary editor, The Guardian; Lisa Nelson, marketing and communications manager, NCTJ; and Laurie Tucker, day editor, Sky Sports News, quizzed interviewees on their passion for journalism, financial need and diversity.

Following the interviews, Hugh Muir wrote about his experience on the interview panel in his column for The Guardian. He said the diversity fund criteria recognised the deficiencies within the industry and offered opportunities to a broad range of applicants: “Over the years, the calculation of what is needed to achieve a diverse workforce has changed. We need more minority journalists, more women, more journalists with disabilities; to finally tick all of the long-established boxes”. He added: “We lack not just people who fit the diversity criteria of race and sex and gender, but also those whose difference is rooted in circumstance, deprivation and class”.

Bursaries are awarded four times a year. The second group of bursaries for the academic year September 2015-August 2016 are now open for applications. The deadline is Wednesday, 27 May at 5pm.

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