ITV News is today announced as a new backer of the Journalism Diversity Fund (JDF), helping to make a career in journalism more viable for a wider range of candidates.
ITV News will make a £10,000 contribution as well as offering work experience opportunities and support to beneficiaries through the JDF mentor scheme.
Administered by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), the JDF awards bursaries to aspiring journalists from a wide range of diverse backgrounds who don’t have the financial means to support themselves through NCTJ training.
ITV News’ membership comes in a response to a fundraising drive by the NCTJ last year and extends the ITN-produced news provider’s commitment to making newsrooms better reflect the communities they serve.
It is the fifth news provider to become a financial contributor since September 2019, with the JDF now supported by 16 media companies in total.
In 2020, the fund was able to support a record number of 58 students, offering bursaries to enable them to study the industry-standard Diploma in Journalism at training centres around the UK.
All successful candidates can also benefit from the JDF’s mentoring programme, as well as gain a range of insights into the work of the JDF’s sponsoring organisations.
ITV News managing editor Diane Ridley is one of the initiative’s champions at the company.
She said: “The need for a plurality of voices in newsrooms is vital and this scheme helps people from under-represented groups who couldn’t afford to get the right training take their first steps towards becoming a journalist.
"ITV News looks forward to supporting the careers of future newsgatherers through its involvement in the JDF.”
Will Gore, the NCTJ’s head of partnerships and projects, said: “I’m so pleased that ITV News has come on board as a backer of the JDF. The NCTJ’s Diploma in Journalism prepares students for roles across all platforms, so it’s great to see another broadcaster add its name to the list of media companies which make the scheme possible.
“Last year the JDF really came to the fore, helping dozens of students from diverse backgrounds at a time when many were facing their own individual economic pressures. It remains a key mission of the NCTJ to make it possible for talented people to become professional journalists – whatever their personal circumstances.”
Bursaries help to cover the costs of course fees and/or living expenses, depending on an individual’s circumstances.
To gain the support of the JDF, candidates must demonstrate that they will bring diversity to the newsroom, and that they are committed to a career in journalism. They must also have a genuine financial need.
The Journalism Diversity Fund was established thanks to a donation of £100,000 from the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA media access) in 2005.
It is now sponsored by 16 media organisations: BBC, Bloomberg, DMG Media, Dow Jones, Financial Times, Google News Initiative, ITV News, Newsquest, News UK, NLA media access, PA Media, The Printing Charity, Reach Plc, Reuters, Sky and Yahoo UK.
To find out more about the JDF please visit www.journalismdiversityfund.com.