NCTJ Diversity Fund open for aspiring journalists

Students from diverse backgrounds wishing to pursue a career in journalism could receive financial help from the NCTJ Diversity Fund – which is now accepting applications.

The Diversity Fund aims to support the training of people wishing to study journalism but struggle with the funding of a NCTJ-accredited course.

Applications for the fund are welcomed from sixth formers, undergraduates, mature students and professionals from social and cultural groups that are often under-represented in the newsroom.

NCTJ ask that applicants demonstrate “a genuine need for a bursary, commitment to journalism and the potential to be successful.”

Set up in 2007, NCTJ recognised the need for reporters, from all walks of life, to write news that would reflect their cultural and social upbringing and communities.

In April 2008, the Newspaper Licencing Agency promised a minimum of £100,000 per year to support the fund.

Sophie Maden was successfully accepted by NCTJ for the bursary and began her NCTJ accredited MA Print Journalism course in University of Sheffield last September.

“Without the help of the Journalism Diversity Fund, I could not have afforded  to complete the course, there is no way I could have done it,” she said.

“The course is hard work but because the Journalism Diversity Fund has shown such faith in me, it has really motivated me to do well.”

Also accepted last year was single mother Nicola Roots. She began her MA in Kingston University last September and studies part-time while looking after her four-year-old son Elliot.

She said: “Without a doubt I would advise other people to apply to the fund, I have a very working class background and as a single mother I would never have had the funding to start a journalism course.”

“I would say to anybody you should apply, you will be amazed at what you can achieve.”

NCTJ are currently accepting applications and closing date is Friday 30 April.

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