Johnston bursary helps ethnic minorities

Regional newspaper publisher Johnston Press has started a bursary scheme that could launch the careers of 10 people from ethnic minorities and poorer backgrounds.

Human resources director Malcolm Vickers said: “As part of our equal opportunities monitoring we’ve looked at how diverse our journalistic population is and come to the conclusion that it doesn’t reflect many of the communities we serve. The proportion of ethnic minorities in particular isn’t representative of our journalistic population. In many instances it may be that they are not coming into the system through colleges and universities, so we’ve tried to come up with a scheme to enable more people to start their training as journalists.”

Prospective journalism students can apply for bursaries of between £3,000 and £7,500, depending on whether they plan to take a short NCTJ pre-entry course or a year-long post-graduate qualification.

Johnston Press titles in areas with substantial ethnic populations include the Yorkshire Post, The Star, Sheffield, The Evening Telegraph, Peterborough, Doncaster Free Press Dewsbury Reporter and Burnley Express.

The selected candidates will be offered work experience on Johnston titles and on completion of their programme will be considered for jobs.

Applicants who are graduates, or of graduate calibre, should write a 250word explanation of why they want a career in journalism and why they require financial aid. Courses must be NCTJ or equivalent. For details call David Rowell on 01604 477751.

Dominic Ponsford

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