The careers of seven trainee journalists are off to a flying start after receiving bursaries from the Journalism Diversity Fund.
The successful recipients in the first round of bursaries for 2012 are: Amna Bagadi, Victoria Bull, Dan Cooper, Figen Gunes, Rebecca Parker, Kathryn Richardson and Shan Williams. They will be studying NCTJ-accredited courses at Press Association, London; News Associates, London; and Cardiff University.
They were selected after demonstrating their diversity and potential to be a successful journalist, first in their applications and then at interviews held at the Financial Times on Friday, 1 June.
The interview panels were made up of senior figures from the media industry including: Dave Betts, senior home news editor, Sky News; Marverine Cole, freelance TV journalist and broadcaster; Paul Durrant, freelance journalist and trainer; Janine La Rosa, diversity manager, BSkyB; Lisa Macleod, managing editor, Financial Times; and Laurie Tucker, senior producer, Sky Sports News.
This first round of bursaries received a record number of applications since the fund launched in 2005. 71 applications were submitted (a 54 percent increase on this time last year) and 17 individuals were invited to interview.
The second round of bursaries is now open and applications are currently being accepted for NCTJ-accredited courses starting between September 2012 and August 2013.
The closing date is Friday, 29 June.