Three journalism students have been awarded bursaries by the Journalism Diversity Fund.
Kay Loveridge, of Leeds Trinity University, Josephine Fay and Nicola Kenton, both of News Associates in London, received the bursary awards at a JDF event at Bloomberg’s offices in the capital last week.
Loveridge was awarded the Claire Prosser bursary, named after the former director of the BBC Journalism Trainee scheme who died suddenly in 2014.
She has been given the opportunity to complete placements with BBC News, Press Association and Wire Free Productions.
Fay and Kenton were presented with the Thomas Read bursary, which is given to people with long-term illnesses, health problems or disabilities.
They will both receive financial contributions from the Thomas Read Foundation and have the opportunity to carry out a work placement at Sky Sports News.
The bursary was named after Thomas Read, a cerebral palsy sufferer, who died unexpectedly in 2015, aged 25.
Connor Parker, who received the Thomas Read bursary last year to study at the University of Sheffield and now works as an intern reporter at HuffPost UK, took to the stage to praise the bursary for changing his life.
He said: “The JDF and the Thomas Read bursary paid for me to study as well as providing all the support I could ask for, which meant I had a fantastic year that taught me everything I needed to know and more.
“It’s so important to have diversity in the journalism industry – because I have a hidden disability and I’m from the north of England, I don’t fit the mould of the stereotypical London journalist, but because of that I can speak about those topics that define my identity, I can bring that voice to the table.”
Rianna Croxford, a former JDF recipient, who is now a broadcast journalist at BBC Radio 4 and World Service, also gave her testimony.
She said: “There’s no denying that journalism remains a socially and ethnically exclusive industry.
“This is why the Journalism Diversity Fund is so crucial. I would not be standing here as a qualified NCTJ journalist without it.”