Diversity intern moves to trainee reporter position

Christina Johnson, the NCTJ’s journalism diversity intern, is to complete her six-month contract and start a job as a trainee reporter at the Luton and Dunstable Express at the end of January.

Christina studied the NCTJ-accredited MA in Newspaper Journalism course at Nottingham Trent University. During her studies she completed the NCTJ preliminary Certificate in Journalism, passing with excellent grades in her portfolio and all exams including news writing, media law and public affairs as well as 100wpm shorthand.

Christina’s responsibilities included overseeing the administration, organisation and promotion of the Journalism Diversity Fund as well as the production of the NCTJ’s annual report. She was paid a trainee salary and her training included a period of work experience at the Financial Times.

The 23-year-old from Sutton Coldfield said the job had been challenging but immensely enjoyable: “While it has been demanding it has also been a great privilege to play a part in striving towards greater diversity in newsrooms today. We have seen the number of applications to the fund increase, and this year the figures have hit record numbers which is positive, but it is obvious more still needs to be done with regards to continuing this trend and reaching a wider audience. I am sad the internship has come to an end but I am thrilled to be embarking on a career in journalism.”

Chris Gill, LSN Media series editor, said: “I was very impressed with the wide ranging efforts Christina has put into trying to kick-start her career in local newspapers. She has clearly worked very hard and it was just question of someone giving her a chance, which LSN Media is delighted to do.

“Christina comes to us already having numerous media skills, has an excellent demeanour and, I believe, the qualities to succeed. Her work at the NCTJ was an influential factor in her gaining employment; it showed her versatility. We look forward to her joining us and making her mark.”

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher said the internship had been a great success: “Having been the recipient of a bursary herself and having done so well at Nottingham Trent, Christina was the perfect choice to be our first intern. She has been a huge asset to the development of the Journalism Diversity Fund and I’m delighted that her employment and training with us has led to a job on a newspaper. Chris Gill has made an excellent appointment and once Christina has completed her 18-month training period I’m sure she will perform brilliantly in the National Certificate Examination.”