New report on diversity in journalism published by the NCTJ

The NCTJ has published a new report on diversity in journalism, examining the characteristics of journalists in the UK.

The report, authored by research consultant Mark Spilsbury, was presented to employers today in a forum on equality, diversity and inclusion.

The research is based on 2020 Labour Force Survey (LFS) data, which suggests that the journalism workforce is getting younger, with the proportion aged below 30 increasing from 16 per cent in 2018 to 23 per cent in 2020.

The proportion aged over 40 has decreased from 64 per cent in 2018 to 48 per cent in 2020.

The data also shows a continuation in the increase in the proportion of women employed in journalism so that they are now in the majority (53 per cent compared to 47 per cent of men).

There is also a slight decrease in the proportion coming from white ethnic groups (from 94 per cent to 92 per cent) and a slight increase in the proportion with a disability (from 15 to 16 per cent).

The most notable feature of the 2020 data relates to the number of working journalists in the UK which is estimated at 96,000, an increase of 18,000 over the 2018 level of 78,000.

The report also noted a continuing increase in the ‘graduatisation’ of journalism, which could be acting against attempts to increase some aspects of diversity.

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: “The headline result for the NCTJ in this really useful report is that under-representation of diverse groups in journalism and reliance on graduates continues.

“We need to do more to encourage and support those diverse groups into journalism, promote alternative, non-graduate entry points and encourage employers to recruit from this talent pool. Apprenticeships, foundation courses and initiatives like the Community News Project are becoming even more important.

“At the same time, we will encourage those who share our values in the higher education sector to recruit a more diverse intake and to offer NCTJ-accredited courses and qualifications.”

Thirty-three employers from across the media sector were in attendance at today’s forum, which advises on the further action needed to make a difference to the equality, diversity and inclusion of newsrooms.

Chaired by NCTJ trustee Abu Bundu-Kamara, global diversity and inclusion lead for Boeing, the forum was convened by the NCTJ as part of its commitment to scale up its work on equality, diversity and inclusion.

Click here to read the report.