How my persistence and determination led to invaluable opportunities

In order for newsrooms to best reflect our communities, it’s vital schemes such as the Journalism Diversity Fund exist.

Having always wanted to be a journalist from as early as I can remember, when I left my comprehensive school the sudden realisation of a lack of financial means, no connections and the idea that journalists don’t come from one of UK’s most deprived areas prevented me from pursuing a career in the industry.

Instead I sought an apprenticeship in social housing – where I later became a permanent member of staff. It was here that I developed an interest for social policy and after a 3-month hiatus away from my role to work at SEN summer camp in New York, my spark for journalism was reignited and this time I was determined to make it.

After returning from New York, I continued in my full-time role and studied an AHE qualification part-time for 10-months at night school, later leaving my career of four years and becoming the first in my family to enrol into university where I studied public relations with politics.

At university I sought every opportunity to gain as much work experience as possible in the industry and after many unsuccessful attempts my persistence and determination led to invaluable opportunities with Channel 4 and Sky News.

My time with Sky led onto work as a freelance news runner, where I travelled to and from London for over a year in-between term time and weekends – working on a plethora of stories throughout 2017/18: from terror attacks, the Grenfell Tower fire, a snap General Election and a Royal Wedding.

After graduating, the financial barriers of deciding whether to do an NCTJ or BJTC again appeared.

It was through a successful application and interview with the Journalism Diversity Fund that I was able to pursue my NCTJ fast-track qualification at the City of Liverpool College – without which I would not have been able to do and for whom I’ll be always be grateful to.

The NCTJ is a great qualification to have – it’s challenging, but it’s worth it. The course has equipped with me some of the fundamental principles needed to be a journalist, particularly media law.

In just two weeks’ time I will qualify as a journalist – seven years after leaving high school.

Very soon after that I am delighted to say that I will officially begin my dream career as an ITV News trainee with ITV Granada Reports – my regional news programme that I grew up watching.

There are so many people who have contributed to my journey – and so many to thank – one being the Journalism Diversity Fund.

Diversity though is an ambiguous term; it means something different to all of us.

The Journalism Diversity Fund doesn’t just assess your diversity though – it also assesses your financial means and your passion for journalism – the latter being a must.

Good luck, work hard and dare to dream.

Brad Grant

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