Diversity in Journalism 2023

This research report updates the analysis of journalists’ diversity characteristics to 2022. It can be read in conjunction with the NCTJ’s Diversity in Journalism report, published in November 2017 and 2022, and Journalists at Work, published in October 2018.

This report provides a fascinating insight into the characteristics of UK journalists.

The annual report is designed to help us monitor progress and change.

Changing an entrenched culture, as the latest data in the report on diversity shows, is one of the toughest challenges for us all alongside overcoming the economic and social threats to quality journalism and trusted news.

It’s pleasing to see that more people with health issues and disabilities are working in journalism and women are being promoted equally into senior roles, even though there has been a downturn in the number of women working in journalism overall.

There has been some progress but there are no easy answers to how we can attract people from disadvantaged backgrounds into journalism and promote journalists from under-represented ethnic groups into senior roles.

We all need to work together to make this happen. We must encourage those from all walks of life into journalism roles, remove the barriers and support people in their careers so they can join the decision-makers. We should place equal value on alternative, non-graduate entry points and boost recruitment and promotion from this talent pool.

To mark publication of this report, the NCTJ is announcing a major investment in outreach work with our partners in the media and education sectors. This work aims to boost recruitment of school leavers onto our further education college courses as well as to diversify cohorts on accredited university courses. We want to increase applications to the Journalism Diversity Fund, which has already supported more than 500 journalists, and to provide a bigger pool of diverse talent for employers to recruit from.

Thanks to further investment from the Google News Initiative, we continue to develop the Journalism Skills Academy, which offers an ever-increasing range of professional training for journalists throughout their careers. Our exciting new leadership programme is designed to strengthen the quality of leadership across the industry – nurturing diverse, high-performing, effective editorial leaders.

We are delighted, for the first time, to have the opportunity in this report to add statistics about sexual orientation. Including this data alongside all the other characteristics of journalists – employment levels, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, health and disability, religion, qualification and social class – enriches the information we have about journalists.

After so many years of remarkable growth, we are reporting a downturn in the employment of journalists. The shedding of journalism jobs comes at a time when many are finding it more challenging to recruit and retain talent.

We must encourage those from all walks of life into journalism roles, remove the barriers and support people in their careers so they can join the decision-makers.

– Joanne Butcher, chief executive, NCTJ

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