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NCTJ scales up work on equality and diversity

Posted on: July 31, 2020 by Ian Murray

The National Council for the Training of Journalists is to broaden and scale up its work on equality, diversity and inclusion.

The NCTJ, which celebrates its 70th anniversary next year, has been running the Journalism Diversity Fund successfully for 15 years.

The charitable fund was established with the support of NLA media access – the organisation has contributed almost £1.5 million to date.

Now with financial backing from a further 12 sponsoring organisations, it has helped 380 people from disadvantaged and unrepresented backgrounds to train to be journalists.

Fundraising efforts to increase the number of bursaries and to provide more support for recipients to develop their careers have been successful and will continue.

The charity has convened a forum for employers from across the media sector to advise on the further action needed that will made a difference to the equality, diversity and inclusion of newsrooms.

Chaired by NCTJ trustee Abu Bundu-Kamara, global diversity and inclusion lead for Boeing, the forum brings together more than 30 employers of journalists and is also an opportunity for businesses to share and promote good practice.

The areas identified for further investment cover careers promotion and information, research, entry-level training, mentoring, and continuing skills and career development support.

Nikki Akinola has been appointed to the newly-created role of diversity and inclusion co-ordinator and will take up her position in the autumn to work closely with Will Gore, head of partnerships and projects, who leads the NCTJ’s work in this area.

Before joining the NCTJ’s examinations team in 2019, Nikki worked at Reed Learning as a learning and development co-ordinator for eight years.

She has extensive knowledge of training delivery and adult learning and has worked in the industry for 15 years.

Speaking at a meeting of the forum, Joanne Butcher, NCTJ chief executive, said: “We recognise that tackling inequalities and making journalism better reflect our audiences needs the combined efforts of the industry, businesses, employers and journalists.

“We also appreciate that although this is a tough time for our industry, we need to be bold and to tackle the issues on a much bigger scale to achieve our ambition.

“The NCTJ will do as much as it possibly can to help media businesses attract and retain diverse talent and a broader range of voices in journalism.

“Nikki was a brilliant addition to our exams team last year and I’m delighted she is moving into this new role where, given her skills and passion, I’m confident she will make a real difference to this vital area of our work.”

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