Newsquest opens door for ethnic jobs

Strayton: commitment to diversity Austin-Clarke: community support

The UK’s second biggest regional newspaper publisher has announced its intention to recruit more journalists from ethnic minorities.

Newsquest issued a statement in which the company “underlined its commitment to diversity in the recruiting and training of new staff”.

Newsquest editorial manager Margaret Strayton said: “By offering salaried training with courses paid for, leading to qualified senior status, Newsquest believes it offers the best platform for recruiting from all walks of life, including those with talent from ethnic and minority groups.”

Newsquest has highlighted how two of its biggest daily papers are trying to address the issue.

The Telegraph and Argus, in Bradford, has organised training in the community and staged a recruitment seminar to encourage minority recruits.

Editor Perry Austin-Clarke said: “Our editorial policy – and it is very widely and strongly supported by local community leaders – is that our job is to cover all communities without fear or favour.

“I’d like the newsroom to reflect the local community – with approximately 16 per cent from ethnic minorities.”

At the Southern Daily Echo, based in Southampton, editor Ian Murray said: “We have met with head teachers and organisations seeking to improve recruitment from the minority cultures and set in motion a number of projects, including a media competition for inner city school pupils and a survey of college students.

“We have an open policy for recruitment, but find it difficult to attract applications from members of the ethnic community. We are working hard to reinforce the impression that our papers have open doors for anyone who has the talent.”

By Dominic Ponsford

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