Journalism Diversity Fund recipient achieves senior status

Picture: Rosemary Davenport, who received a bursary from the Journalism Diversity Fund, has now passed her NCE.

A past bursary recipient of the Journalism Diversity Fund has gained senior reporter status after passing her National Certificate Examination.

Rosemary Davenport, a freelance journalist from Manchester, was successful in her July exam. She said: “It’s really satisfying after all the work to finally get it out of the way. It was very challenging but it gives you a lot more opportunities because the qualification is recognised throughout both the journalism and PR industries.”

Rosemary is currently working as a communications officer for Wigan Council, after leaving her trainee reporter role at the Lincolnshire Echo in January and moving back to Manchester. “I got a job at the Lincolnshire Echo before finishing my course at the University of Salford. I had to leave because I was relocating to Manchester, although I’m now looking to get back into journalism,” she said.

The newly qualified senior journalist is also providing freelance public relations for a charity in Manchester, helping to update their website. She was awarded a bursary by the Journalism Diversity Fund in September 2007 after impressing the interview panel with her bright ideas and the amount of work experience she had.

Speaking about the bursary she received, Rosemary said: “If it hadn’t been for the Journalism Diversity Fund then there’s no way I would have been able to afford my postgraduate diploma course, and I wouldn’t have become a reporter. I received regular support and emails while I was studying – it was a very supportive environment to be in.

“I think people need to be more aware of the fund and understand it isn’t just a cash handout – you actually get a lot of support as well. It wasn’t till I’d read through all the information that I realised I was actually able to apply for a bursary because I thought it was for people from an ethnic minority background,” she said.

Rosemary has since applied to the BBC North scheme, which has operations in Manchester, where she hopes to work as a reporter, specialising in writing content for the web.

The deadline for applications to the next round of bursaries for the Journalism Diversity Fund is Friday, 29October.

For more information about the fund please contact Sam Tonkin, the journalism diversity intern, at journalismdiversityfund@nctj.com or visit the website www.journalismdiversityfund.com.