Comet Hitchin reporter and previous Journalism Diversity Fund recipient, Layth Yousif, took part in a Society of Editors conference panel on diversity on Monday, 19 October 2015.
Layth joined Caroline Diehl, chief executive of the Media Trust, Eleanor Mills, editorial director for The Sunday Times and chair of Women in Journalism and Sue Ryan, media consultant and former managing editor of The Daily Telegraph and manager of the Daily Mail trainee
programme. The panel was chaired by Jonathan Grun, emeritus editor of the Press Association.
Panel members discussed the various schemes and programmes that they run to improve diversity while Layth shared his personal background as a beneficiary of diversity projects. He spoke about his upbringing as a son of an immigrant family and how he is currently raising his own children.
Layth spoke passionately about how he loves his job, even sharing that he jumps out of bed every morning for work. He went on to thank the Journalism Diversity Fund as an important part of his career saying that he was able to make a lot of invaluable contacts due to the fund.
Layth said his school careers officer didn’t believe he could be a journalist, providing an interesting insight that for a lot of socially and ethnically diverse children may not even realise that a career in journalism is even possible.
Regarding diverse trainee journalists, he said: “If they are not good enough, they’re not good enough but we have to give people the chance.”
Layth achieved his fast-track NCTJ Diploma in Newspaper Journalism at Lambeth College in 2014 and is now the Hitchin reporter for thecomet24. You can follow him on twitter @comet_layth.