News UK has become the latest news publisher to give its financial backing to the Journalism Diversity Fund (JDF).
The development comes in the 15th anniversary year of the JDF, which has supported almost 400 students from diverse backgrounds through their NCTJ training since 2005.
News UK, publisher of The Times, The Sun, Sunday Times and a host of radio stations, becomes the fourteenth media organisation to sponsor the scheme. As well as contributing financially, the company will offer opportunities for JDF candidates to gain insights into its editorial operations and to be mentored by News UK journalists.
Daisy Dunlop, director of corporate affairs at News UK said: “News UK is delighted to support the NCTJ’s Journalism Diversity Fund and to help aspiring journalists from every background to be able to get the training they need.
“Our newsrooms are keen to reflect the diversity of their readership and of the nation, and this funding and the mentorships will go some way to ensuring there are fewer barriers for anyone keen to pursue a career in journalism.”
Will Gore, the NCTJ’s head of partnerships and projects, said: “Back in February we launched a fundraising drive to mark the JDF’s 15th anniversary. And while this year has proved to be more challenging than anyone could have expected, I’m delighted that News UK has answered the call by agreeing to become a sponsor.
“If anything, the events of the last few months have only served to confirm the JDF’s importance in enabling people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to gain access to professional journalism training. News UK’s generous contribution to the fund, and the role its journalists will play as mentors, means we can do more to help the industry become as diverse as the audiences it serves.”
Bursaries help to cover the costs of course fees and/or living expenses, depending on an individual’s circumstances. All those who receive JDF funding are paired with a working journalist to mentor them during their studies, and many sponsoring news outlets offer work placement opportunities or insight days.
The Journalism Diversity Fund was established thanks to a donation of £100,000 from the News Licensing Agency (NLA media access) in 2005. It is now sponsored by 14 media organisations: BBC, Bloomberg, DMG Media, Dow Jones, Financial Times, Google News Initiative, Newsquest, News UK, NLA media access, PA Media, the Printing Charity, Reach Plc, Reuters and Sky.
To find out more about the JDF please visit www.journalismdiversityfund.com.