Scroll down to find out more about the bursary recipients due to start their journalism courses in the September 2018 – August 2019 academic year.

Cohort one

Sharmin Akhtar

Sharmin Akhtar

Sharmin is a British-Asian Muslim whose passion for journalism came about whilst studying for her degree in international relations. Sharmin has lived in London her whole life and admires the city for being one of the most multicultural cities in the world.

 

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.

 

In the past, Sharmin has taken part in various development programmes including The young Muslim leadership programme, led by the Oxford centre for Islamic studies, and the Onevoice Europe youth leadership programmes. Sharmin also enjoys raising awareness of issues that affect British Muslims and has written about it for the Huffington Post and The Independent.

 

Sharmin is looking forward to starting her news reporting course with the Press Association Training in August.



Solape Alatise

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.

 

She hopes to strengthen her journalistic voice during her study and practice, becoming a credible and integral voice in the industry in time to come.



Matthew Ford

Matthew Ford

Matthew, 22, has always had an interest in all things media and journalism, being inspired watching news anchors like Jeremy Thompson on Sky News’ Live at Five and commentators such as John Motson and Peter Drury. Journalism combines Matthew’s love of writing with his passion for all things sport.

 

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. He served as editor in chief at The Student newspaper, Edinburgh Capitals ice hockey reporter for FreshAir.org.uk radio station, and sports producer for EUTV, even commentating on the Scottish Varsity match from Murrayfield in September 2016 and interviewing high profile figures like football commentator Ian Crocker and Team GB cyclist Callum Skinner.

 

Having completed a work experience placement with the sports desk at The Guardian in June 2018, Matthew will begin his NCTJ multimedia sports journalism course at News Associates London in September.



Yusuf Khan

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, looking at a variety of issues and in his final year of university became the editor of the site.

 

Whilst writing for The Tab he has written about students from different backgrounds as it was something that he felt was not widely represented within youth media. 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.

After nearly a hundred articles during this period as a student journalist for The Tab, Yusuf wants to continue his work as a journalist, and will be developing his skills on the NCTJ-accredited MA course in news journalism at Cardiff University, starting in September.



Adam Sonin

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 & High, Jewish Chronicle, BBC Radio London 94.9, Time Out, The Times and contributed material to BBC. He holds an MSc from CASS Business School and a BSc from the University of Manchester.