Frequently asked questions

The Community News Project is a partnership between Facebook, local news publishers and the NCTJ, which is creating up to 100 new community reporter roles in newsrooms around underserved areas in England, Scotland and Wales. See below for answers to our frequently asked questions.

Since 2019 the following publishers have been partners in the scheme: Reach, Newsquest, JPIMedia, Archant, Midland News Association, The Barnsley Chronicle, Baylis Media, KM Group and Newbury News. From 2022, additional publishers will be brought into the scheme.

We are looking for those with talent and a passion for community journalism. You do need to have at least 5 GCSEs with Maths and English at a C or above (or equivalent). If you have already achieved the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism, you can apply to the scheme with a view to working toward the National Qualification in Journalism.

Jobs will be available straight away, but can also be held open for accepted applicants until they finish their NCTJ studies

Those without the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism will receive training to achieve the qualification. Those who have passed the diploma will work towards the National Qualification in Journalism for community journalists. You will also be able to join monthly webinars run by the NCTJ specifically for CNP reporters, as well as skills sessions run by Meta.

The project has been very successful to date in recruiting a diverse group of reporters. Two-thirds of those employed since the CNP’s launch in 2019 have met one or more diversity criteria being measured (including ethnicity, socio-economic background and religious background). Employers must ensure their recruitment reaches out to people from a wide variety of backgrounds. 

The NCTJ seeks regular feedback from reporters and editors, and monitors reporters’ work to ensure it retains the requisite focus on their assigned communities. Publishers provide relevant analytics where applicable, but all partners in the CNP acknowledge that impact is not measured by clicks or story count alone. The NCTJ also commissions independent research by an external expert. 

Twenty of the CNP reporters hired in 2019 remained in their roles at the conclusion of the initial two-year period and are currently working towards the NQJ. The majority of those who have left the scheme (64 per cent) have now moved into full-time journalism roles, either with their original CNP employer or elsewhere in the industry. The majority of the remainder have moved into employment in related sectors (communications, PR and marketing).

Yes, CNP reporters can be employed as apprentices, and must be registered as such with the NCTJ. Since the introduction of the senior journalist apprentice pathway, there are now two apprenticeship options - the first incorporating the Diploma in Journalism; the second, the NQJ. 

Any NCTJ-approved provider may tender to offer training for CNP reporters. The following training centres have been involved in the project to date:
- Bauer Media Academy
- Bournemouth University
- Darlington College
- Glasgow Caledonian University
- The Sheffield College

Yes, throughout the project, the NCTJ has published articles about the project from the point of view of reporters, publishers and people in local communities. Case studies include: