Diversity fund launched

The chairman of the National Council for the Training of Journalists
claimed journalism was in danger of becoming an increasingly white,
middle class profession.

Kim Fletcher spoke as the NCTJ launched its Diversity Fund for people from ethnic minority and impoverished backgrounds.

Research last year showed almost no newsrooms reflect the ethnic make-up of the communities they represent.

The
fund will pay for bursaries and to promote journalism careers among
minorities. It was kick-started with £100,000 from the Newspaper
Licensing Agency, which collects reproduction fees. Fletcher appealed
for similar contributions.

He said: “We have been increasingly
worried that journalists are coming from a narrowing stratum of
society. We are in danger of turning this great trade into a middle
class profession whose members no longer represent the social mix they
report.”

The chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality,
Trevor Phillips, said a Mori survey showed 28 per cent of people from
ethnic minorities would consider a career in print journalism compared
with 15 per cent of public as a whole He said: “In the next 30 years
politics will be dominated by the differences between groups in our
society. If we are going to tell our national story and international
story properly, we need to know more about and more different kinds of
people. We are only going to know that if we have organizations within
the media that are as diverse as our society, our communities and our
world.”

Details can be found at www.journalismdiversityfund.com

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