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BBC News to invest further £1m in recruiting journalists with disabilities due to ‘under-representation’ across corporation

The BBC has announced plans to invest a further £1m in recruiting journalists with disabilities to tackle under-representation across the corporation.

Extend in News was first launched in 2017 as a year-long scheme with participants recruited to various BBC newsroom roles including at Newsnight, Radio 5 Live, BBC Politics and Digital Current Affairs.

The scheme, which saw £1m investment last year and a further £1m being put in by the BBC for 2019/2020, is open to those with a hidden or visible disability who are interested in journalist or production management assistant roles.

It will develop six successful candidates over the course of a year with bespoke training plans and a personal mentor, and support them into permanent BBC News roles.

Katie Lloyd, development director at BBC News and Current Affairs, said: “BBC Extend in News is central to our commitment to reflect the society we live in and recruit people with a wide range of perspectives and experiences.

“The success of this programme is down to the talent of its participants. We are extremely proud of the stories they have told in the past year and the contribution they have made to BBC News so far.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming the new participants in 2019.”

The BBC said its aim was to create more opportunities for journalists with disabilities due to an under-representation across the corporation as a whole.

It added that the scheme has resulted in more disability-related stories being told on the BBC with examples including a Newsbeat documentary about accessible clubbing in Ibiza.

Successful applicants will be matched to the right opportunities from junior levels to more experienced senior editorial roles.

Ellis Palmer (pictured), an Extend in News participant last year and now BBC World Online digital video journalist, said:“At the BBC, my condition has not been a barrier in any way shape or form.

“The support I’ve received here from day one has been absolutely fantastic. Journalism is about telling stories: we all have powerful stories to tell about ourselves, our friends, our families, and our communities.

“That is why, if you believe you have a story to tell and can tell it in a powerful, engaging way, I would urge you to apply to the BBC. Extend your horizons: join the BBC and change perceptions.”

Picture: BBC

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