Mirror, Express and Star publisher Reach has become a sponsor of the Journalism Diversity Fund.
The media group – the largest news publisher in the UK – is the 12th sponsor of the fund, which awards bursaries to aspiring journalists from diverse backgrounds.
The JDF is also sponsored by Google, the NLA, Associated Newspapers, the BBC, Bloomberg, the FT, Newsquest, PA Media, the Printing Charity, Reuters and Sky.
It awarded a record 46 bursaries last year and has helped over 340 people since it was established 13 years ago, according the National Council for the Training of Journalists which administers the funds.
Alan Edmunds, regional director at Reach, said: “The Journalism Diversity Fund is a very important initiative – it’s helped dozens of talented people forge a career in journalism who might not otherwise have been able to.
“And so we at Reach are delighted to now have a partnership which offers practical and financial support for the fund.
“As our newsrooms become more diverse, so our journalism becomes more encompassing, and the better we are able serve the communities we cover.”
Last week the NCTJ held its annual equality diversity and inclusion conference (pictured) at Reuters in Canary Wharf, London.
Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: “It is vital to the NCTJ’s role in preparing students for employment that we have close ties with those at the industry’s coalface, and we are looking forward to involving Reach in all areas of our work.
“Reach’s decision to become a backer of the JDF clearly demonstrates the company’s commitment to removing barriers of entry to the journalism sector, and is a further indicator of the value placed by the industry on [the] scheme.”
Reach has also become a strategic partner of the NCTJ.
This means it will contribute to and support the training body’s work, “helping to ensure that qualifications continue to prepare journalists for the rigours of the modern newsroom”, according to the NCTJ.