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Celebrating diversity in journalism on International Women’s Day

Andrew Hughes, International Director of NLA media access presenting Joanne Butcher, Chief Executive of the NCTJ with a cheque for £100,000 at the annual Journalism Diversity Fund celebratory event.

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD) and looking back across the events that unfolded over the past year, it’s more significant than ever. Since last year’s IWD, we’ve seen women’s marches across the globe, the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo & #TimesUp movements unfold, gender pay gap reporting and the 100-year anniversary of women’s right to vote.

Gender equality is part of a wider issue; businesses are not as diverse as they need to be. Many studies have shown that diverse groups of people have a higher group intellect and are more profitable for businesses. In journalism, diversity allows an outlet to reduce bias, as well as bring together a group of people with varied backgrounds and experiences to be able to report on the huge variety of stories that happen every day. That is why we support the Journalism Diversity Fund (JDF), a bursary scheme which we have supported since the fund’s inception in 2005. Our last donation in was £100,000, bringing NLA’s total contribution to the fund to over £1.2 million.

The JDF was set up by the newspaper industry in 2005. The aim of the JDF is to create a route for aspiring journalists from ethnically and socially diverse backgrounds. The bursary supports them in their NCTJ Diploma in Journalism studies, recognised as the kite mark qualification in the industry which provides them with the solid foundation on which to enter  the newsroom and represent the diverse communities they report on. Along with major donations from NLA media access, the Journalism Diversity Fund is supported by Bloomberg, the BBC, DMG Media, Sky, the Press Association, the Financial Times, The Printing Charity, Thomson Reuters and Google News Lab.

Donations over the years have helped drive real change in the industry, supporting aspiring journalists from differing backgrounds. Since its launch, the Journalism Diversity Fund has awarded bursaries to 257 students, helping them start a career in journalism which many would not have found possible without the funding. This has increased the prevalence of journalists from a wide range of socially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.

One such example is Khaleda Rahman: currently working at the Daily Mail. She was awarded a JDF bursary in 2012 to complete her fast-track Diploma in Journalism with News Associates London. Commenting on her experience Khaleda said:

“Thanks to the funding I received from the Journalism Diversity Fund, I was able to get my NCTJ qualification without stressing about finances while studying. After qualifying, I worked as an intern for the JDF and helped other students working towards their NCTJ. Then, I got my foot in the door of the newspaper industry with an internship at a local newspaper that I secured thanks to the continued support I received from the JDF. From there, I went on to land a place on the MailOnline graduate scheme and have recently returned to London after stints in New York and Sydney. It’s safe to say I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today if not for the JDF!

Andrew Hughes, International Director of NLA media access commented:

“NLA media access is owned by the UK press, and our mission is supporting journalism by ensuring businesses which rely on newspaper content can do so easily and legally. The board and staff of the NLA are proud of our association with the great work done by the NCTJ Journalism Diversity Fund, and especially with the recipients of the JDF bursaries.”

When accepting the donation, NCTJ Chief Executive, Joanne Butcher, stated:

“I’d like to sincerely thank NLA media access, the Journalism Diversity Fund’s lead sponsor. This generous donation, which has been made annually since 2005, is very welcome and never taken for granted.”

The deadline for the first round of 2018 applications for the Journalism Diversity Fund bursaries is on 25th April. For the full schedule, please click here.