Diversity in Journalism 2021

This research report updates the analysis of journalists’ diversity characteristics from 2018 to 2021. It is based on 2020 Labour Force Survey (LFS) data. It can be read in conjunction with the NCTJ’s Diversity in Journalism report, published in November 2017, and Journalists at Work, published in October 2018.

Our latest report on diversity in journalism, published in 2021, examines the characteristics of journalists in the UK.

The research is based on 2020 Labour Force Survey (LFS) data, which suggests that the journalism workforce is getting younger, with the proportion aged below 30 increasing from 16 per cent in 2018 to 23 per cent in 2020.

The proportion aged over 40 has decreased from 64 per cent in 2018 to 48 per cent in 2020.

The data also shows a continuation in the increase in the proportion of women employed in journalism so that they are now in the majority (53 per cent compared to 47 per cent of men).

There is also a slight decrease in the proportion coming from white ethnic groups (from 94 per cent to 92 per cent) and a slight increase in the proportion with a disability (from 15 to 16 per cent).

The most notable feature of the 2020 data relates to the number of working journalists in the UK which is estimated at 96,000, an increase of 18,000 over the 2018 level of 78,000.

The headline result for the NCTJ in this really useful report is that under-representation of diverse groups in journalism and reliance on graduates continues.

We need to do more to encourage and support those diverse groups into journalism, promote alternative, non-graduate entry points and encourage employers to recruit from this talent pool. Apprenticeships, foundation courses and initiatives like the Community News Project are becoming even more important.

At the same time, we will encourage those who share our values in the higher education sector to recruit a more diverse intake and to offer NCTJ-accredited courses and qualifications.

– Joanne Butcher, chief executive, NCTJ

Related content

Here are some other publications or pages that may interest you.

Journalists at Work 2018

We commissioned this research to provide new and consistent information across a range of industry sectors on the journalism professions. It is both an update of the organisation’s 2012 Journalists at Work publication, and an exploration of issues that have emerged since.

Journalism Diversity Fund

The Journalism Diversity Fund (JDF) awards bursaries to people from diverse backgrounds who need help funding their NCTJ journalism training.

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