Mentoring scheme launched for Journalism Diversity Fund students

The Journalism Diversity Fund (JDF), administered by the NCTJ, has launched its first formal mentoring scheme to support bursary recipients.

Almost fifty working journalists from sponsoring organisations of the fund including Bloomberg, Sky, Reuters, Press Association, Daily Mail, and the Financial Times have signed up to become mentors.

The industry-supported fund awards bursaries four times a year to aspiring journalists from diverse backgrounds who do not have the financial means to support themselves through NCTJ journalism training.

Bursaries can help cover the costs of course fees, and/or living expenses for the duration of their studies. Almost 300 bursaries have been awarded since the launch of the JDF in 2005.

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: “Giving our Journalism Diversity Fund recipients the opportunity to receive advice and guidance from working journalists will not only support them in their studies, but in their working lives after their course ends.

“Through the mentoring scheme, we want people from diverse backgrounds to realise their true potential and be given a greater understanding of the journalism industry.”

The scheme will give recipients the opportunity to learn valuable lessons, such as how to approach employers, excel on work placements and land their first job as a journalist, from mentors who can draw on their own recent experience of starting out in the industry.

Mentors and students will talk on a monthly basis, documenting the progress of goals set by the student at the start of the mentorship. At least one face-to-face meeting is also encouraged, if possible.

Do you want to be involved? The Journalism Diversity Fund is looking for working journalists across the UK who are in the first five years of their career to participate as mentors.

If you would like to find out more, please contact Sarah Kenny, NCTJ marketing and communications executive.