The Aziz Foundation is today announced as the newest sponsor of the NCTJ’s Journalism Diversity Fund (JDF).
The charity joins the growing number of supporters of the fund, which has welcomed six new sponsors since the start of the year.
Established in 2005, the JDF awards bursaries to aspiring journalists from diverse backgrounds who do not have the financial means to access professional journalism training. Since its launch, it has supported more than 400 students through NCTJ-accredited courses.
The Aziz Foundation is a family-run charitable foundation, which offers scholarships to British Muslims in partnership with UK universities, enabling them to progress in their careers.
The foundation’s donation to the JDF will specifically support beneficiaries from Muslim backgrounds.
Asif Aziz, founder and chair of the board of trustees of the Aziz Foundation, said: “I am thrilled that the Aziz Foundation is working with the NCTJ’s Journalism Diversity Fund to promote diversity and inclusion within the media industry. Specifically, this will lead to greater opportunities for budding journalists from British Muslim communities to add their voices to and enrich this key industry.”
In addition to making financial contributions to the fund, sponsors also play a key role in assessing candidates who seek support from the scheme, and in providing mentors and insight opportunities for beneficiaries.
The support of the charity brings the NCTJ a step closer to reaching its ambitious goal of raising the annual value of the fund to half a million pounds.
Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: “We are excited to welcome the Aziz Foundation on board as a supporter of the Journalism Diversity Fund.
“Our new partnership with the Aziz Foundation will build on the long-standing and successful association with the Printing Charity as we increase the number of charities we are working with.
“We have to continue to grow the fund to meet demand and to have a greater impact in this vital area of our work.
“The Aziz Foundation shares our values and we look forward to building a mutually beneficial relationship with their team and with other like-minded charities.”
The NCTJ’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion is now at the heart of its development strategy and runs through the charity’s mission and objectives, as detailed in a piece written by Joanne Butcher for the British Journalism Review last month.
The Journalism Diversity Fund is now supported financially by 20 organisations: Aziz Foundation, BBC, Bloomberg, BMJ, CNN International, DMG Media, Dow Jones, Financial Times, Google News Initiative, Insider Inc, ITV News, Newsquest, News UK, NLA media access, PA Media, The Printing Charity, Reach plc, Reuters, Sky and Yahoo UK.