2018-19 bursary recipients

All four rounds of bursaries for the 2018-19 academic year have now been awarded. Find out about each of our bursary recipients for 2018-19 below.

Susie Kellie

Molly Millar

Danielle Manning

Brad Grant

Frankie Christou

Dominic Penna

Olivia Noon

Roxana Massoumi

Aini J Khan

Nicola Kenton

Lucy Pegg

Malachi Butt-Mukete

Corey Bedford

Cleo Anderson

Catherine Wiltshire

Jack Richardson

Yuan Ren

Tom Orde

Svar Nanan-Sen

Awil Mohamoud

Chloe McLaughlin

Sheila Marshall

Yemaya Marsden

Adam Maidment

Jessica Knibbs

Carly-May Kavanagh

Shardell Joseph

Kumail Jaffer

Jess Glass

Timothy Gallagher

Yasemin Craggs Mersinoglu

Kathryn Batte

Kamilla Baiden

Andrew Andronicou

Adelina Adjei

Chloe Adams

Adam Sonin

Yusuf Khan

Matthew Ford

Solape Alatise

Sharmin Akhtar

Cohort 4 2018/19

Susie Kellie

Susie decided to do the NCTJ course at Press Association Training as she was eager to become a journalist but never thought she would be accepted into this industry because she believed it wasn’t made for people like her. Susie has a disability and did not have the financial resources to jump start a journalism career and so she took a leap of faith and decided to leave PR to pursue her dreams. She is hoping that the course will enable her to develop the very much needed skills in order to become the best writer that she can be.

Cohort 4 2018/19

Molly Millar

Molly grew up in Glasgow and graduated from Edinburgh University in 2017 with a degree in English literature. Through journalism she hopes to tie together her passions for great storytelling and current affairs. As a member of the LGBTQ community Molly is particularly eager to investigate the ways in which social and political issues affect the lived realities of marginalised groups. She believes journalism can be a catalyst for change and is committed to a career in bringing to light overlooked stories and perspectives that deserve to be heard.

Cohort 4 2018/19

Danielle Manning

Danielle has been a freelance radio journalist for the past two years and has most recently produced and presented a documentary for the BBC World Service. She now wants to turn her passion for politics and current affairs into a career as a news reporter. Her experience of growing up mixed race in a council house, with a disabled single mother has given her an interest in class, race, social care, mental health and education – topics she wants to explore in her work.

Cohort 4 2018/19

Brad Grant

Having started his career in social housing, Brad developed an interest for social policy – later becoming the first in his family to attend university, graduating recently with a first-class degree in public relations with politics. Whilst studying, Brad entered the field of journalism as a news runner for Sky News. Here he worked on a plethora of stories throughout 2017/18 from the UK terror attacks, Grenfell Tower fire, a general election and recently, a royal wedding. Brad is graciously thankful for the support of the Journalism Diversity Fund and looks forward to pursuing his ambitions of becoming a journalist.

Cohort 4 2018/19

Frankie Christou

Frankie grew up in a working class household with a single mother, so is determined to speak on behalf of those who come from socially deprived backgrounds. Since the summer, Frankie has started his own football blog – and within the space of a few months has received over 4,000 views. He developed his love for sport and progressed to write for Southwark News and The News Shopper, where he reports on Millwall FC and Millwall Lionesses.

Cohort 4 2018/19

Dominic Penna

Dominic Penna is a 21-year-old international relations & politics graduate. He has Asperger’s Syndrome and dyspraxia, meaning he is more reliant than most people on routine and experiences the anxiety which comes with this condition. Having adapted to a more independent life at university, Dominic has been features editor, and is now co-editor, of The Tab Sheffield, having previously interned at The Times, The Tab, and The Burton Mail. He hopes that he will be able to use the qualifications, skills, and contacts gained in his course to raise the profile of hidden disabilities, overcome more personal barriers, and make a positive impact in communities.

Cohort 4 2018/19

Olivia Noon

Olivia, 23, is a recent graduate from the University of Leeds where she achieved a 2.1 in broadcast journalism (international). Originally from Liverpool, Olivia volunteered at her local hospital radio before university. She is proudly working class and wants to see more northern voices represented in the media. Olivia has both dyslexia and dyspraxia and hopes that she can bring a new perspective to the world of journalism. Whilst studying for her degree, Olivia gained work experience at The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the BBC and Oxfam. Olivia hopes to pursue a career as broadcast journalist upon achieving her NCTJ qualification.

Cohort 4 2018/19

Roxana Massoumi

Roxana is a published author with HarperCollins whose investigative journalism work includes interviews with the Ku Klux Klan, first-hand research of human smuggling in Syria and interviewing serial killer Richard Ramirez. She has also made various contributions to The Guardian and Huffington Post on the #metoo movement and rock n roll groupies, on paedophile Ian Watkins and on the demonization of women’s sexuality and Othering the Middle Eastern woman. Roxana was born in Iran and loves rock n roll, history of serial killers, the Ratt Pack, Foucault and the history of sexuality. She would love to make investigative documentaries around the world.

Cohort 4 2018/19

Aini J Khan

Aina J Khan is a London-based journalist who has written for Al Jazeera English, The Guardian, VICE, The Independent, and Middle East Eye. She has worked in broadcast with ITV News and on numerous documentaries with ITN Productions, Channel 4, BBC Three. Over the last three years, she has worked with Southbank Centre, the UK’s largest arts centre, on the Women of the World (WOW) Bradford festival, which celebrates women and young girls and takes a frank look at the obstacles they face.

Cohort 3 2018/19

Nicola Kenton

Nicola is a 23-year-old geography graduate from the University of Birmingham, who has Joint Hypermobility Syndrome and had a pacemaker inserted in 2015. At the age of 14, she attended her first journalism course and has gained lots of practical experience since then including: editing her secondary school newsletter, being an online sport editor of her university newspaper, volunteering with the IPC digital media team and completing work experience at BBC Sport England. Nicola has seen improvement in how Para-sport is represented in the media but wants to continue the progress with the aim of reporting on the Paralympic Games.

Cohort 3 2018/19

Lucy Pegg

Lucy is about to begin study for an MA in news journalism at Nottingham Trent University, having graduated from the University of Sussex with a BA in English. She wants to see diverse journalistic voices amplified, and hopes herself to represent working-class women within political journalism, a sector dominated by men and the privately educated. Lucy was print production editor of The Badger, Sussex’s student newspaper, during her final year. She is also a student journalist for the NUS and has written many freelance articles. Lucy has a keen interest in political issues, particularly current affairs and environmental stories.

Cohort 3 2018/19

Malachi Butt-Mukete

Malachi is a history graduate born and bred in Peckham, South London. He has a passion for creative storytelling, broadcasting and current affairs. His interest in journalism was first peaked whilst living and working in Ghana in 2013/14. He saw just how good and varied news reporting was in shaping the views and opinions of the general population. Malachi currently works for BBC Studios in the digital department. He’s been trying to wriggle his way into the newsroom since his first day and thinks that his NCTJ in multimedia journalism from News Associates will help him get there permanently!

Cohort 3 2018/19

Corey Bedford

Corey, 24, graduated in English language and creative writing from De Montfort University in 2015. After taking time away from his studies to support his mother after being made redundant, he is returning to academia to study MA journalism at the University of Sheffield. Corey wants to have a career in reporting, aiming to specialise in politics, with a goal of becoming a political editor for a national newspaper. Coming from a working class background in a northern industrial town, Corey has fought through homelessness, depression, and money troubles with the love and support of his mum and grandparents.

Cohort 3 2018/19

Cleo Anderson

Cleo, 23, read European studies at King’s College London, spending an Erasmus year at Sciences Po in Paris. Growing up mixed race and having two contrasting family experiences, Cleo has been acutely aware of the effects intersectionality has, whether that be race, class or gender etc. She hopes that this awareness will translate into helping develop approaches and ideas around diversity in the newsroom. Currently, Cleo is particularly interested in developing ‘glocal’ news. Where local news stories, particularly from rural areas, can be conveyed and often implicit links to issues of national and international importance be made. Her other interests include European politics, and minority identities.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Catherine Wiltshire

Catherine comes from a working class background and is mixed race. She is an avid fan of local news and has wanted to be a journalist since she was young, creating her own online zine in her earlier twenties. After a dramatic deterioration of her mental health in late 2013 she was diagnosed with having a psychotic illness. Since then she has developed great insight into her illness and hopes to educate people on mental health issues highlighting the work of mental health organisations, through her own journalistic work.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Jack Richardson

Jack graduated from Birmingham University with a BA in international relations with political science and a part time MA in air power. Without any contacts in journalism, he approached a defence magazine proprietor at a major industry exhibition and ended up writing research-based articles and attending similar trade shows as a member of their publications team. He was particularly proud of this as he has Asperger’s Syndrome. This hidden disability means he finds it hard to interact with other people, particularly in social situations. Not to be deterred, he is very keen to progress with a career in journalism and believes he can also raise the profile of people with this condition.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Yuan Ren

Yuan is bilingual in English and Mandarin and has lived a large part of her life in China. She has worked at Time Out, Pearson, and the Culture Trip in editorial roles, and her freelance writing has appeared in publications such as The Guardian. She is an aspiring video journalist and presenter with a particular interest in the areas of women, and cultural heritage. In her spare time, she is a big foodie trying to write a sitcom.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Tom Orde

Tom currently works as an English teacher and freelance copywriter and has spent a few years living and working in South America. To gain journalism experience he has been working at his local paper and doing volunteer work for the Rural Refugee Network. Eventually Tom wants to work in environmental journalism, combining informative and persuasive writing techniques as to promote environmental issues and framing them in a positive light.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Svar Nanan-Sen

Svar is a graduate of Oxford Brookes University with a BA (Hons) in economics, politics and international relations. He has always had a passion for journalism and sport and decided to pursue both by becoming a sports journalist. Svar comes from a diverse ethnic background having a Caribbean-Irish mother and a Finnish-Indian father. As someone who has both dyslexia and dyspraxia, he has had to overcome a number of barriers to get into journalism but with resilience, focused determination and commitment he has more than equipped himself to have a successful future.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Awil Mohamoud

Awil has had a real interest in current affairs since studying government & politics and sociology at A-level. He subsequently began writing for his college paper as well as for a nationwide youth magazine focused on tackling social and political issues. Awil has been advised to reconsider going into journalism because of how various media organisations misrepresent or stereotype people from his own background. However, he believes that diversity is the answer, as dissimilar voices can act as a correcting influence. He aims to do this through upholding and promoting fair, balanced and accurate reporting.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Chloe McLaughlin

Chloe, who was born in Dundee but brought up in Burnley in Lancashire, is proudly working class and has always had to work numerous jobs to try and support her studies. She believes that income should not be a barrier to success and wants to see more working class, northern voices represented in the media. Chloe studied a BA in performance: drama and theatre, however she has always had a love of journalism and eventually she managed to get her foot in the door at the Northern Life magazine where she works in the editorial team.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Sheila Marshall

Sheila is an independent filmmaker and has worked in film and television for over 15 years. Her first feature documentary Right Between Your Ears explores what drives disagreement in society, the belief that our views are right and couldn’t be wrong. The film has won awards for Best Feature Documentary at festivals and played at the Royal Institution, the Byline journalism festival, and has recently been broadcast on ABC in Australia. Sheila would like to work as a film critic, and feels there is a high demand for female BAME film critics.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Yemaya Marsden

Yemaya is 22 years old and has recently graduated from Keele University with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. She is half-English half-Chinese and has always struggled to identify anyone in the news or mainstream media that reflects her cultural background. She wants to be a role model for other half-oriental working class girls who do not feel represented in the media – and in society. She believes that more needs to be done to increase diversity in journalism, and is grateful for the positive steps made by the Journalism Diversity Fund.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Adam Maidment

Adam Maidment is a 29-year-old freelance journalist, with a degree in media (film and television) from Edge Hill University. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and having struggled with anxiety, Adam has a particular interest in both LGBTQ+ rights and mental health. He believes that both topics are under-represented in the media, and his first-hand experience provides him with a unique voice. As a freelance writer, Adam has contributed to a number of digital outlets including Gay Times, Cosmopolitan, Into, Elite Daily, and Lifehack. Following the completion of his course, Adam hopes to work on news features for digital media outlets.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Jessica Knibbs

Originally from South Africa, Jessica has worked at some of the biggest publishing houses in both London and Johannesburg. She moved back home and worked as a journalist for the Sandton Chronicle working on breaking news, crime, sports and lifestyle. During that time her passion for journalism became clearly evident as most of her stories became front page news and she became one of the top journalists at the paper. She immersed herself within her community, was the voice for the people and a big advocate for human rights and fairness.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Carly-May Kavanagh

Carly-May is a 21 year old politics and international relations graduate. She is deaf and has Asperger’s, as well as mental health issues. During her time at university she was involved in two student papers, and through this she managed to get two weeks of work experience at NME. She also presented and produced her own radio show on Southampton University’s student radio station. In 2018, Carly-May was nominated and subsequently shortlisted for Best Entertainment Piece at the Student Publication Association national conference. She received several nominations at her university’s annual Media Ball and won Best Behind-The-Scenes. She also won ‘Most Shows This Year’ at Surge Radio’s AGM.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Shardell Joseph

Shardell Joseph, who comes from a working class background, has had a long-standing interest in journalism since studying for her degree in international relations. As a mixed race women, Shardell has focused on highlighting issues of both racial and gender inequality and she plans to use her passion for media and journalism to help propel these issues to the forefront of social and political dialogue. Gaining experience through interning and freelance writing for business and finance publishing company World News Media, Shardell is now looking forward to pursuing a career in news reporting.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Kumail Jaffer

Having recently graduated from the University of Warwick with a degree in politics, philosophy and economics, Kumail is looking to enter the world of journalism in order to voice his unique perspective in the (occasionally) monolithic press. As a Muslim and a minority, issues such as race relations, postcolonialism, foreign policy and worldwide progressive movements stand out as key societal topics to be analysed, dissected and debated over – and for such discussions to be fruitful, Kumail feels that more journalists and writers from minority backgrounds are needed.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Jess Glass

Jess Glass started work in journalism as an arts reporter for Warwick University’s student paper The Boar during their undergraduate sociology degree. They later went on to study an MA in gender studies part-time, finishing the course at the end of August 2018. Jess has written extensively about transgender rights in the UK, including notable investigations into anti-trans campaigners informed by their own experiences of being non-binary. Jess has a particular interest in social and political issues, namely topics of LGBTQ+ rights, health, education and class, much of which is heavily influenced by their own experiences of being an orphan from a working class background.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Timothy Gallagher

After growing up in a small, ex-mining area in the East Midlands, Timothy was motivated to study social anthropology at the University of Manchester, to learn as much as possible about society and the causes of social inequality. Timothy has completed a journalism placement abroad at the Fiji Times, Fiji’s principle newspaper. Timothy hopes to combine his anthropological knowledge with journalistic skills to write about social and political issues, whether this is in the form of reporting, documentary making, or feature writing. Timothy is especially eager to bring a queer perspective to his work, and introduce a wider audience to the liberating qualities of being non-conformist.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Yasemin Craggs Mersinoglu

Yasemin is an international relations and global issues graduate from the University of Nottingham. As a female dyslexic journalist of mixed ethnicity from a working class background, Yasemin is committed to representing and reaching these groups through her work in the media. She would like to cover social justice issues such as discrimination and inequality as well as the intersections of identity, race, class, gender, disability and sexuality in culture and sport. In addition, Yasemin wants to incorporate more audio and visual content in order to make journalism more accessible to those with lower literacy levels and appeal to those who currently find it too dense and impenetrable.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Kathryn Batte

Kathryn has long had an interest in journalism, writing news articles since school and continuing this into university. She has always been sports orientated, playing and watching football from an early age, and wants to combine this with her passion for journalism. Kathryn’s media experience includes being sports editor for her student radio station at the University of York as well as spending a week with the Hull Daily Mail and working with BBC Radio Humberside. As well as the need to increase the amount of female faces and voices in sports journalism, Kathryn believes there is also a need for more northern journalists in the national news.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Kamilla Baiden

Kamilla, who comes from a mixed British and Ghanaian background, is a born and bred inner-city Londoner, with a passion for sharing stories from those with marginalised voices. Since working in the media, Kamilla began to realise that people from minority backgrounds were poorly represented both on and off screen. Since giving birth to a son last year and returning to work, Kamilla began to notice the even greater difficulties faced to women and mothers within the workplace – more specifically women of colour. Having produced content for online, TV and radio, Kamilla would like to merge her production and journalistic skills to become a credible reporter within the industry.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Andrew Andronicou

Andrew has always been passionate about journalism and its power to reach people. He strongly feels the media can be enriched by including more diverse voices as they bring unique perspectives that can reach out and draw in a larger audience. In the workplace, his Greek-Cypriot heritage has allowed him to share insights with his colleagues so they can more sensitively handle racial and religious issues which they might otherwise be blind to. Andrew’s special interest is in technology, digital entertainment and science journalism. He believes that tech plays a pivotal role in any serious media organisation because it reports on the innovations that will shape how readers live their lives.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Adelina Adjei

Raised on a South London council estate by a single parent, Adelina graduated with a degree in biomedical sciences and started a career in the healthcare/pharmaceutical industry. As a British-born Ghanaian, Adelina became frustrated by stereotypical narratives of black people in the mainstream media, which became the inspiration for her blog. Passionate about telling underrepresented stories and bringing the voices of ethnic minorities (among others) to the mainstream media, her writing has resonated online. Adelina also co-created the first Africa Utopia Festival magazine for the Southbank Centre London.

Cohort 2 2018/19

Chloe Adams

Chloe Adams is a 42-year-old mother of two living in East Ayrshire, Scotland. As a young single mother, she juggled busy family life and study commitments to train as a photographer, firstly attending college in Dumfries, and then Edinburgh. Chloe looks forward to diversifying her skills base and hopes this will make her better equipped to continue to progress within the changing landscape of the modern journalism workplace. Chloe is delighted the NCTJ has chosen to support her in this decision by awarding her the Journalism Diversity Fund bursary, which has been integral in her ability to facilitate her studies.

Cohort 1 2018/19

Adam Sonin

Adam Sonin is a freelance journalist and former financial engineer who comes from a mixed race background. During his thirties, and after fighting for a diagnosis, he discovered he has anxiety and is on the autism spectrum. He has written and contributed for the Ham & HighJewish Chronicle, BBC Radio London 94.9, Time OutThe Times and contributed material to BBC. He holds an MSc from CASS Business School and a BSc from the University of Manchester.

Cohort 1 2018/19

Yusuf Khan

Yusuf is currently in his final year at Cardiff University studying history and economics. Over the last two years, Yusuf has been writing for student news site The Tab and in his final year of university became the editor of the site. His work for the site has included university drop-out rates based on ethnicity, exposing cases of racism at university, and identifying the Eurocentric approach that University courses often take. Coming from a minority himself, Yusuf is particularly determined to tell the stories of diverse people who do not often have the opportunity to talk about their experiences, or issues they have been facing.

Cohort 1 2018/19

Matthew Ford

Matthew grew up in a large working class family, living in social housing on a council estate, and believes income should not be a barrier to advancement. Since the age of 14, Matthew has gained practical reporting experience, firstly covering Northwood FC and latterly progressing to freelance work and work experience placements with two Watford publications, WD Sport and the Watford Observer, covering Watford FC and Leyton Orient FC. Completing a degree in history at the University of Edinburgh in 2018, Matthew held various positions at several of the university’s media societies.

Cohort 1 2018/19

Solape Alatise

Solape Alatise, who comes from a working class black household, is about to graduate from Aston University with a degree in politics and sociology. She is a budding journalist who seeks to bring diversity to the field by giving a voice to different communities and their successes through her work. Solape has a real passion for political journalism and is especially fond of developing stories that cover the US, Africa and the UK. She aspires to be a news reporter, reporting live for the BBC.

Cohort 1 2018/19

Sharmin Akhtar

Sharmin is a British-Asian Muslim whose passion for journalism came about whilst studying for her degree in international relations. However, the more she wanted to pursue her dream of becoming a news reporter, the more she realised that women like her – brown skin and visibly Muslim – were not reflected in the media industry. This is why she believes that more women of colour and of different religions should be represented in the newsroom, especially at a time where Islamaphobia, racism and anti-semitism centres a contemporary national debate.

TESTIMONIAL

“The bursary changed my life. In just over a year I’ve gone from working in a call centre to working as a reporter at the HuffPost, I couldn’t be happier.” Connor Parker, 2017 recipient

2017-18 bursary recipients

Click the photos below to find out about everyone who was awarded a bursary to study in the 2017-18 academic year.

Rianna Croxford

Genea Saunders

Josh Salisbury

Husna Rizvi

Yashas Mudumbai

Amar Mehta

Hannah Lovejoy

Nicola Driscoll-Davies

Matthew Bell

Eoin Wilson

Danny Thompson

Anu Shukla

Adam Samuel

Coran Elliott

Aisha Doherty

Rory Claydon

Elizabeth Burden

Danielle Amato

Loretta Thomas

Harvey Solomon-Brady

Connor Parker

James Gale

Thomas Gabbidon

Shamaan Freeman-Powell

Lydia Wilkins

April Roach

Kirsty Purnell

Hayley Pearce

Charley-Kai John

Georgia Chambers

David Bass

Rianna Croxford

Rianna, 23, is of Ghanaian-English heritage and was the first in her family to attend university. In June, she graduated with a 2.1 in English literature from the University of Cambridge. She knew she wanted to be a journalist since she founded the first newspaper at her secondary school. Rianna has special interests in access, gender and BAME issues, and local, national and international politics. She believes it is important to consistently uphold an intersectional perspective. Drawing on her multicultural upbringing, Rianna wants to platform marginalised voices that often remain unheard and underrepresented. Her ambition is to become a political correspondent and producer with the aim of airing national social and political issues as well as global narratives.

Genea Saunders

Having worked within the PR industry for several years, Genea has decided to pursue a rewarding career in investigative journalism – amidst the technological advancements of interactive/ data journalism. She is keen to learn how to bridge the gaps between metrics and words, and use the information to uncover stories, but most importantly the truth. In a time when the term ‘fake news’ is often used to dominate discussions, data is becoming the most important tool to distinguish the facts from fiction. Being female and a part of the BAME community, this is particularly important to Genea – being able to utilise information to reflect ethnic diversity appropriately, shattering negative connotations about those who the data is about, and those who hold the data.

Josh Salisbury

Josh Salisbury is a 22-year-old graduate from the University of York where he gained a first-class degree in philosophy, politics and economics. While at university he was the news editor of York Vision, the UK’s most awarded student newspaper. While news editor, he was accredited as a journalist for the Question Time special between Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May, interviewing cabinet ministers for the paper. Deaf in both ears, Josh is especially interested in disability rights, having chaired a disability activism group while at university. However, being both LGBTQ and from a working-class background Josh also hopes to be able to tell the under-reported stories affecting these communities.

Husna Rizvi

Husna is a British-Pakistani freelance journalist that writes about race, gender, geopolitics, and cultural criticism. She grew up in West London and went to a comprehensive state school where she completed her International Baccalauerate. From there, she went on to study philosophy at King’s College, Cambridge. She is an avid blogger for ‘TheRookieReview’, a website she set up in 2009. Her interests are eclectic – she started out writing film reviews, and philosophical responses to TV on the blog in 2009, and at university she assumed the role of opinions editor at the student newspaper, Varsity. She cites her journalistic influences as Ta-Nehisi Coates and Fatima Bhutto. Her long term goal is to move to longform reporting.

Yashas Mudumbai

Yashas is a computer science graduate from the University Of Warwick, and he hopes to become a sports journalist who can be a torch bearer for finding out the truth and also changing the common misconception of sensationalist journalism. Yashas would like to cover some of the biggest stories in sport and use that as an inspiration to bring about a change in society. Athletes have so many amazing backgrounds and with that diversity there is a chance to bring the world to a better place. By covering and reporting on these athletes, Yashas hopes he can bring about that change in the world.

Amar Mehta

Amar is an international relations and global issues graduate who aspires to be a news journalist. His interest in journalism first started when he joined University Radio Nottingham’s (URN) sports team as a presenter and producer. As he became more involved in URN and Impact magazine, Amar came to realise that journalism was the career path for him. As a second generation British Indian, watching the news, he has noticed that there is a lack of journalists from the BME community. Amar hopes that in becoming a journalist he will inspire other people to follow a similar career path. His main interests in are sports and politics, and he hopes to follow these interests in his career.

Hannah Lovejoy

Hannah Lovejoy is a British born mixed race journalist with Nigerian and Irish heritage. She is 21 years old and has a love for all things current affairs and entertainment. After working as film and TV editor at teen website Maximum Pop she continued to gain work experience and started to work as a freelance journalist. Aside from online and print, Hannah’s passion lies within broadcast and she is hoping to pursue a career as a broadcast journalist for both radio and TV upon achieving her NCTJ qualification. At the age of 17, Hannah’s first media work experience placement was working as an intern on The Marvin Humes Evening Show on Capital FM. Since then, she’s gained lots of radio experience and currently works at community station Wandsworth Radio as a broadcast journalist.

Nicola Driscoll-Davies

Nicola studied journalism, media and cultural studies at Cardiff University while a mature student and young lone parent. Upon graduating and relocating to Brighton, Nicola become unwell and was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type III, Hyper-mobility (EDS3 or hEDS). The Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) are a rare incurable genetic disorder, and there are thirteen recognised types of the condition. Shortly after diagnosis and physiotherapy Nicola lost the ability to stand or walk, however Nicola created a long term exercise plan and spent her time learning to stand, and walk again with the use of a cane.  Unprepared to give up on her passion for journalism, through her determination, hard work and positive attitude to recovery Nicola is now able to embrace her ambition again.

Matthew Bell

Matthew Bell writes and reports under the name Matt Reuben and is in his final year studying journalism with marketing at Ulster University. He was brought up in a Protestant working class background in Northern Ireland and most of his reporting analysis came from reporting on the divide of political beliefs. With the bursary from the Journalism Diversity Fund, he hopes to be able to explore new areas of diversity that need representing whilst studying in London. Matthew’s journalistic interests are predominately on the area of politics but he has in the past reported on environmental issues that affect students. He has further interests in religion and theological reporting as well as media.

Eoin Wilson

Eoin is an Irish-Scottish freelance journalist who was brought up in the former mining communities outside Edinburgh and has written for Al Jazeera English, the Middle East Eye and the Electronic Intifada, among others. After graduating from Edinburgh University in 2011 with an MA in Arabic and Spanish, he worked as an autism support worker and a van driver, before later completing an MA in community education, equality and social activism at the National University of Ireland Maynooth near Dublin. Eoin has lived and worked in Mexico, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Scotland, Ireland and England, with stints at CommonSpace in Glasgow, RT UK in London and most recently The Jordan Times in Amman.

Danny Thompson

At the age of 28 Danny found himself out of work due to difficulties with arthritis. Danny had been working in call centres and warehouses and decided to return to education with the hope of finding a career he would enjoy. Whilst at university, he threw himself into blogging, writing articles for the student paper, and volunteering and interning for local football clubs including Coventry City and Mansfield Town. He knew the NCTJ diploma seemed absolutely necessary for pursuing a career in journalism, but he was worried about the financial issues of studying full time, particularly with a disability and a young family to support. The JDF bursary has assuaged his worries and allowed him to take up his place at City of Wolverhampton College, and pursue his career in journalism.

Anu Shukla

Anu’s fascination with print media was triggered at the age of seven filing newspaper returns for her dad’s newsagent shop. Growing older, she felt inspired by reporters who utilised journalism as a tool for positive social change. As a person of British-Asian origin with her own experience of systematic institutional racism, she felt empowered to do the same. Overall, Anu is passionate about telling the stories of those without a voice. In the future, she aims to work in the realm of data and investigative journalism. She says the NCTJ is the absent piece of the puzzle and feels immense gratitude for the opportunity to complete her training.

Adam Samuel

Born to a family of British-Caribbean origin, Adam and his twin were brought up in a single parent household in the London borough of Barking and Dagenham. Adam has always thrived on the playing fields, participating in academy-level football for several years and competing as a national level track and field athlete. Adam graduated with a BA degree in sports management from Bournemouth University, after which he found his way into sports journalism, writing regularly for a football-centred website. Adam is determined to forge a career in multimedia journalism, and the support provided by the JDF will allow him to begin his Master’s degree in sports journalism at St Mary’s University this autumn.

Coran Elliott

Coran completed a BA in English literature at The Open University, graduating with first class honours. Coran then began contributing to various online platforms including the website Africkswag where she wrote first-hand accounts of her experience as a Black British woman. Coran has completed work experience at The Daily Express and The Daily Mirror. She has written for The Sunday People, The Daily Mirror and Mirror Sport Online covering sporting events such as Eastbourne tennis tournament and the French Open. Her hope is that with the support of the Journalism Diversity Fund, she will be able to encourage other women of colour to pursue a career in sports journalism and also make her West Indian grandparents proud.

Aisha Doherty

Aisha is a documentary filmmaker, born in London of Ethiopian-Irish heritage. She graduated in 2014 with a BA degree in human geography from the London School of Economics.
Upon graduation, she worked for media company DMS before moving to Barcelona to work with OTOXO Productions. Working with an international collective, she helped co-write and co-direct the documentary ‘El Peso De La Manta’. The social documentary has been well-received in festivals and screenings around the world. Since relocating to London, Aisha has worked freelance to produce short documentaries and commercials, with a focus on reporting current social issues from deeply human perspectives. She is looking forward to combining her documentary background with her long-held passion for journalism.

Rory Claydon

Since joining the ranks of the award-winning blog Backbench during his sixth form years, Rory has had an interest in political and investigative reporting. During his undergraduate course, Rory undertook a week-long work placement at the Liverpool Echo where his photography was featured in the weekly ‘Street Style’ print column, as well as serving as the views editor for his student paper, The Gryphon. During his tenure at The Gryphon he was awarded the ‘Best Views Article of Semester 2’ for his piece on Anti-Antisemitism in the Labour Party. As someone with Dyspraxia and Hypermobility, Rory has faced some barriers in getting on the journalistic ladder. However, with excellent pastoral support and the increasing digitisation of the media, Rory has made use of other tools to ensure he can report on equal standing to able-bodied journalists.

Elizabeth Burden

Elizabeth “Lizzy” Burden founded the newspaper at her primary school and was an editor of The Cambridge Student newspaper while completing her undergraduate degree, but she only realised she wanted to be a professional journalist when she was working as a production associate for documentary film in New York. After an eight-year career as a fashion model across five continents, having studied international relations at LSE and being Filipina-English by descent, she wanted to apply her global perspective to her work. She has now completed a six-week internship at The Times and looks forward to honing her technical skills as a journalist by undertaking a fast-track NCTJ course at UCFB Wembley. Afterwards, her goal is to work as a foreign correspondent.

Danielle Amato

Danielle graduated from Canterbury Christ Church University with a media and cultural studies degree in 2013. After completing work experience for a number of local newspapers, Danielle began taking on various freelance writing roles including working for national magazines, as well as creating blog posts and website content for local companies. However, without the right qualifications her options within journalism have been limited. Despite wanting to take on a variety of jobs, Danielle’s physical disability means that working in certain roles simply isn’t possible and in turn, has found it difficult to save for a qualification in journalism. Danielle believes her past and current experiences have given her the determination and ability to bring something new to journalism. She feels that a real life understanding is important when telling a story and wishes to use her skills to break boundaries, educate and improve the lives of others.

Loretta Thomas

Loretta previously worked in social care, supporting people experiencing drug and alcohol dependency. Loretta is the youngest of five siblings and within her extended family she has nieces and a nephew. She recalls always having to, or feeling she needed to, fight for her voice to be heard as well as her rights – and has carried that same spirit for justice and to be the voice against injustice in her work as a substance misuse practitioner and to her friends and family. For her, journalism is the perfect platform from where she can begin to challenge some of the social injustices and be the voice for the voiceless.

Harvey Solomon-Brady

Harvey Solomon-Brady graduated from The University of Leeds in 2016. He began working at Birmingham lifestyle magazine In The City that year before stints at The Birmingham Mail and Press Association. He wrote features for The Birmingham Mail’s sister publication, The Sunday Mercury, as well as articles for Birmingham Mail Online. Mr Solomon-Brady begins the NCTJ’s news reporting course at the Press Association in August 2017. Some of Harvey’s favourite journalists are: Mahzer Mahmood, Rod Liddle, Andrew Marr and Philip Webster. He’s passionate about politics and current affairs, Birmingham, German culture and Liverpool FC.

Connor Parker

Connor has a degree in history from Sheffield Hallam University and a Postgraduate Masters in sociology and policy research. Always fascinated by current events, he’d previously lacked the confidence to attempt to break into the journalism industry because he has dyslexia and dyspraxia as well as suffering with poor mental health. Whilst doing a postgraduate degree in sociology he set up a student newspaper, HNews, which grew from being produced by a single person in black and white to a team of twenty producing regular content in print and online in the space of six months. For his efforts he was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Student Media Award and secured a work experience placement at The Sheffield Star. Connor hopes to become a political journalist promoting issues around hidden disabilities and mental health.

James Gale

James graduated from the University of Portsmouth, studying journalism and English language. He is a particular fan of Jon Ronson – enjoying his ‘dryronic’ gonzo writing and reporting, and his love of the ridiculous, weird & wonderful. He also has editorial experience – fortunate enough to intern at The Sunday Times News Review, The Portsmouth News & NME. However, James comes from a modest background – often working two jobs while at university – and would have been unable to begin training without the support of the JDF. He also suffers both mental health issues and physical disability – but as a writer and journalist, James hopes to offer a voice to those with similar struggles, and be a platform for the marginalised in society.

Thomas Gabbidon

Thomas is a graduate of the University of Sussex with a degree in history. He has been passionate about writing on international issues with his recent dissertation being about ethnically diverse women from Africa and the Caribbean in the 20th century which some of his family members have experienced. Previously he was unsure on how he could pursue a career in journalism due to having dyslexia, but with the confidence he gained in writing for regional news and through his course, it became clear that he could pursue a career in journalism. He has been a frequent contributor to The Tab, and has recently finished an internship at The Brighton Argus, but he would like to hopefully write on international issues with a diverse perspective.

Shamaan Freeman-Powell

Shamaan, 23, graduated from Sheffield Hallam University where she received a 2:1 bachelor’s degree in media and a merit in international journalism (MA). Shamaan received a scholarship to complete her masters and whilst studying, she worked as a freelance video journalist for a local TV station in Sheffield. During her time as a freelance video journalist, Shamaan was able to work on some high profile stories, for example: the Hillsborough disaster, the finding Ben Needham campaign and interviewing Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition, during the Labour leadership contest. Despite this experience, Shamaan still struggled to secure permanent full time work as her journalism course was not NCTJ accredited and didn’t offer shorthand. Shamaan will be complete her fast track diploma in news journalism with Press Association Training.

Lydia Wilkins

Lydia is an eighteen-year-old blogger who aspires to be a national columnist. She has Asperger’s Syndrome, meaning that some forms of communication can be hard. Her favourite interview was with the singer Anastacia. Lydia will be completing her journalism training at Brighton Journalist Works.

April Roach

April Roach is a Black British woman with Jamaican heritage. She studied English literature and creative writing at Warwick University and spent an Erasmus year at the Sorbonne in Paris. Born in London, she moved to the Netherlands with her family at a young age where she lived for eleven years before moving back to the UK for her studies. She enjoys volunteering and raising awareness of various issues, such as her work with STAR, Student Action for Refugees. She is interested in local and global affairs, discovering stories that help provide a platform for underrepresented voices. After writing for her university newspaper and helping manage the paper as deputy news editor, she completed work experience placements at The Leamington Courier, the Press Association, The Guardian and The Birmingham Mail.

Kirsty Purnell

Kirsty is 30 years old and comes from Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales. She has worked as a news reporter for the Southwark News for nine months and will study on the news reporting course at Press Association Training.

Hayley Pearce

Hayley is a 28-year-old single mum from Southampton. She graduated with a first class honours degree in english language in 2009. Alongside jobs as cabin crew, marketing assistant and copywriter, she gained experience in journalism, writing about music, fashion, travel, sociocultural issues, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and, more recently, parenthood. Her work has been published in The Jerusalem Post, Al Arabiya, Southern Daily Echo and others. Thanks to the Journalism Diversity Fund, she is now able to gain a formal qualification in journalism, and will begin her NCTJ Level 3 Diploma at Highbury College in September. Hayley hopes to become a multimedia journalist for a local or national news organisation covering underreported issues relating to vulnerable and voiceless members of society.

Charley-Kai John

Charley is an English literature graduate from the University of Warwick. Welsh but unable to speak Welsh, Charley grew up in Cardiff and is keen to see more Welsh journalists working in the media, with better representation for Wales overall. He was a regular columnist and cartoonist for Warwick’s student newspaper The Boar, and has also contributed political cartoons to Warwick Globalist, TSJ and Index on Censorship. Charley has won student writing competitions for The Guardian and was the winner of Index on Censorship’s inaugural student blogging competition. After graduating he made the decision to return to his hometown and will study for an NCTJ-accredited MA at Cardiff School of Journalism in September.

Georgia Chambers

Growing up, Georgia struggled to identify anyone in the news or mainstream media that reflected her cultural background, interests and experiences. Although many positive steps have been made in increasing diversity in journalism, Georgia believes that more still needs to be done. This is why initiatives like the NCTJ Journalism Diversity Fund are so important, as it has given budding journalists like Georgia the opportunity to make their mark in an industry which previously seemed a distant ambition to them. She is primarily interested in international news and issues affecting women and ethnic minority communities. In her career, Georgia hopes to make sure the voices of minority groups are heard and to contribute to a newsroom that is as diverse as the people whose stories it tells.

David Bass

At the age of 19 David gained a place at a university in Leicester to study a combined English/media/arts management degree. Unfortunately David began to experience mental health issues, and had to drop out and spend some time in hospital. Upon recovering, he has had various jobs and completed courses in other subjects, but has always wanted to break into journalism. After doing some research, he discovered that the most valued and widely recognised qualification was the NCTJ diploma. He applied to Press Association Training and passed the entrance exam, but unfortunately he could not afford the fees. He was about to give up, but was told about the Journalism Diversity Fund by a tutor at the PA. Following his application and a successful interview, David has been given a second chance at a journalism career.

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