NCTJ celebrates success of Journalism Diversity Fund at Summer Reception

The JDF has supported more than 550 people since 2005, including 328 mentorships since they were introduced in 2018.  

Departing NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher has praised the contribution of almost 150 people who mentor Journalism Diversity Fund (JDF) bursary recipients. 

The JDF mentoring scheme was celebrated at the NCTJ’s Summer Reception, hosted by News UK and Dow Jones in London last night to celebrate the success of the Journalism Diversity Fund.  

The fund has supported more than 550 people since it was established in 2005 and there have been 328 mentorships since they were introduced in 2018.  

The event was attended by JDF recipients, mentors and industry supporters. 

Joanne Forbes, NCTJ chief executive, opened the event by addressing the audience, made up of JDF recipients, JDF mentors and working journalists.

She said: “This event is a celebration of diversity and what you’ve all achieved by working together. The JDF is about the media industry and like-minded charities getting together to take collective action that makes a difference alongside their own important initiatives and interventions. 

“I think it’s so important that we share ideas and learn from each other. There are no easy answers or quick fixes, and although we have made progress, we must keep the momentum going to achieve greater equality, diversity and inclusion in journalism.” 

At the event, the student and early-career journalists in attendance received career insights from a panel of journalists, including News UK’s head of creative diversity Mark Hudson and Dow Jones’ Financial News editor-in-chief Shruti Tripathi Chopra.  

Joining them were Times Radio multimedia reporter Jo Crawford and Wall Street Journal reporter Yusuf Khan, both JDF alumni. 

Kim, who recently announced he is stepping down as NCTJ chairman after 20 years, said it is “so important journalism is genuinely diverse”. 

“The people we write about, the people we report on, the people we film, the people we broadcast, they are from all over the place, so the more we can widen that pool of journalists, the better.” 

Welcoming guests to the event of behalf of Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal and News UK, Vera Akiotu, director of financial crime compliance proposition at Dow Jones, stressed the “importance of ensuring that our newsrooms reflect the rich tapestry of voices and perspectives in our global community”.  

She said: “Diversity in newsrooms is not just a buzzword; it is a fundamental necessity for the credibility, relevance and accuracy of our reporting.”

Managed by the NCTJ, the JDF provides mentoring and financial support to aspiring journalists from a diverse range of backgrounds to help cover the costs of studying on an NCTJ-accredited course.  

To gain the support of the JDF, candidates must demonstrate they will bring diversity to the newsroom and are committed to a career in journalism. They must also have a genuine financial need.  

The JDF was set up with a £100,000 donation from NLA Media Access in 2005.  

The number of the JDF’s financial supporters has grown over time, and now includes the Aziz Foundation, Bloomberg, BMJ, the BBC, CNN, DMG Media, Dow Jones, the FT, the Football Writers’ Association, Channel 4 News, Business Insider, ITV News, the Journalists’ Charity, Newsquest, News UK, PA Media, the Printing Charity, Reach PLC, Reuters, Sky, ITN, Channel 5 News, Yahoo News UK and The Stationers’ Foundation.  

The second application round for the Journalism Diversity Fund in 2024 closes today at 5pm. The next application deadline is Wednesday, 31 July. 

Find out more about the JDF and how to apply for a bursary here. 

The NCTJ’s new team of ambassadors were also announced at the Summer Reception. Find out more about the NCTJ’s ambassadors here 

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