Family of diversity champion, Claire Prosser, establish new bursary award

A new named bursary award, the second of its kind for the Journalism Diversity Fund, has been set up by the family of a BBC journalist who was a champion of diversity.

The Claire Prosser bursary award, setup by her husband, Paul Clabburn, and daughter, Ellen Clabburn, and the Journalism Diversity Fund, will be administrated by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

Claire died in December 2014 following heart surgery and was the first director of the BBC’s Journalism Training Scheme (JTS). As director, she championed bringing diverse talent into BBC News and her contribution was recognised in 2015 when she received, posthumously, the European Diversity Awards’ Lifetime Achievement accolade.

Claire began her career as a journalist with the Surrey Herald in 1978 later gaining her pre-entry qualification at Harlow College, where she met her husband Paul. Claire joined BBC Ceefax in 1985 later moving to BBC Radio 4 before returning to Ceefax as its editor. When BBC Radio 5 Live was first born she moved there as an output editor. It was many years later that Claire took directorship of the JTS where her brief was to unearth new talent from different communities or backgrounds.

The Claire Prosser bursary award is a £5,000 contribution to a successful Journalism Diversity Fund applicant’s bursary and will also include a work experience opportunity with the BBC, where Claire served for 28 years. To be eligible for the award applicants must have secured a place on an NCTJ-accredited course and aspire to be a broadcast or digital journalist in their career.

Claire’s husband, Paul Clabburn said: "We are delighted to be able to work with the NCTJ and support a bursary in Claire's name. Claire was able to put into action her belief in equality of opportunity via her leadership of the BBC's Journalism Trainee Scheme. She believed strongly that journalism, a profession she loved and spent her life in, should be open to anyone from any background. It is that spirit we are seeking to keep alive. This bursary is part of her legacy."

NCTJ chief executive, Joanne Butcher said: “The NCTJ and Journalism Diversity Fund are proud to support and administer the Claire Prosser bursary award. Claire made a real difference to the careers of so many young people and we hope to continue her legacy with this award.”