Launched in 2019, the Community News Project is a partnership between the NCTJ, Meta (formerly Facebook) and regional news publishers, which aims to support quality local journalism and improve the diversity of UK newsrooms.
Recruits are placed at the heart of local newsrooms, reporting on underserved communities, and all train towards a professional NCTJ qualification. Most CNP graduates have subsequently moved into full-time journalism positions.
In December 2021, it was announced that Meta will be making a further donation of $8 million (around £5.9 million) to the NCTJ to manage the ground-breaking scheme for an additional two years.
This will create 100 community reporter roles and enable further publishers to join the scheme.
Vacancies will open for applications in early 2022. The publishers will be looking for people who want to make a difference in local communities, and are especially keen to hear from those who can help make newsrooms more representative of the communities they serve. Previous journalism experience or education is not essential.
The publishers currently involved in the scheme are: Archant; Barnsley Chronicle; Baylis Media; JPIMedia; KM Group; Midland News Association; Newbury Weekly News; Newsquest; and Reach plc.
With the additional funding from Meta, we are now able to bring new publisher partners into the project. The NCTJ invites publishers who would like to join the scheme to express their interest as soon as possible to Will Gore, the NCTJ’s Head of partnerships & projects via [email protected]. Formal tender applications should be received by Thursday, 6 January 2022.
Publishers wishing to join the project will have to demonstrate clearly how a CNP reporter would be deployed in a way that engages a currently underserved community and/or location. They will also need to demonstrate that the reporter can be offered a suitable level of support in the newsroom and in respect of their NCTJ training.
A track record in supporting previous trainees will clearly be helpful, as will a compelling explanation of how the publisher will ensure recruitment is open, and actively promoted, to people from every background.
The publishers selected for the forthcoming phase of the project will be announced by the end of January 2022. Successful publishers must be ready to begin recruitment in February 2022.