Google News Initiative more than triples its donation to the Journalism Diversity Fund

The Google News Initiative has made a significant increase in its annual donation to the Journalism Diversity Fund (JDF) for 2019-20.

The initiative, which has sponsored the JDF since 2017 and works with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age, has more than tripled its annual donation.

The fund is run by the NCTJ and awards bursaries to aspiring journalists from socially or ethnically diverse backgrounds who otherwise would not have the financial means to fund their journalism training.

Bursaries can help cover the costs of NCTJ-accredited course fees, and/or living expenses whilst studying and doing work experience. Supported by donations from the industry, it works to help make newsrooms better reflect the communities they serve.

All bursary recipients are also given a mentor to support them and they meet to celebrate their success at the annual diversity event in September.

Matt Cooke, head of partnerships and training at the Google News Lab, said: “We're committed to elevating and strengthening quality journalism, and over the last four years we've collaborated with the NCTJ in a number of ways. 

“As part of the Google News Initiative we're now expanding our support for the Journalism Diversity Fund, we hope this will help the next generation of journalists gain the vital experience and qualifications they need to succeed.”

Last year, a record 46 bursaries were awarded by the fund, which would not be possible without the support of its sponsors. Donations so far this year are projected to be more than £300k and the NCTJ’s ambition is to scale up the fund to £500k and to award at least 60 bursaries every year.

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: “We are delighted that Google News Initiative is making a generous increase in its donation this year so that the media industry can help more people train to be qualified journalists.

“I’d particularly like to thank Matt Cooke at Google for his support and personal involvement in the fund’s activities.

“When we set up the Journalism Diversity Fund with NLA media access back in 2005, we were responding to a concern about the diversity of our newsrooms and the lack of applicants from diverse backgrounds for trainee reporter roles.

“As this has become an even bigger issue and there is even greater demand for bursaries, we have stepped up our fundraising efforts.”

Bursaries are awarded four times per year and applications are now open for the first round of 2019, until 3 April at 12pm.

The next annual diversity event will be hosted by Reuters on 19 September 2019.

To find out more about the Journalism Diversity Fund, click here.