News UK announced as Journalism Diversity Fund sponsor

Posted on: August 28, 2020 by Mariella Brown

News UK has become the latest news publisher to give its financial backing to the Journalism Diversity Fund.

The publisher of The Times, The Sun and Sunday Times joins 13 other media organisations that support the fund including the Financial Times, Sky and Reach plc.

The development comes in the 15th anniversary year of the fund, which has supported almost 400 students from diverse backgrounds through their NCTJ training since 2005. 

As well as financial support in the form of bursaries, News UK will offer candidates the opportunity to be mentored by journalists and gain insights into its editorial operations.

Daisy Dunlop, director of corporate affairs at News UK said: “News UK is delighted to support the NCTJ’s Journalism Diversity Fund and to help aspiring journalists from every background to be able to get the training they need.

“Our newsrooms are keen to reflect the diversity of their readership and of the nation, and this funding and the mentorships will go some way to ensuring there are fewer barriers for anyone keen to pursue a career in journalism.”

Will Gore, the NCTJ’s head of partnerships and projects, said: “Back in February we launched a fundraising drive to mark the JDF’s 15th anniversary. And while this year has proved to be more challenging than anyone could have expected, I’m delighted that News UK has answered the call by agreeing to become a sponsor.

“If anything, the events of the last few months have only served to confirm the JDF’s importance in enabling people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to gain access to professional journalism training. News UK’s generous contribution to the fund, and the role its journalists will play as mentors, means we can do more to help the industry become as diverse as the audiences it serves.”

Pictured above are 2019’s fund recipients. Find out more about the Journalism Diversity Fund here

Funding band set for senior journalist apprenticeship standard

The new apprenticeship standard for a senior journalist and assessment plan is now ready to use by employers and training providers.

The Secretary of State for Education has approved the funding band for training and assessment costs, which is set at a limit of £14,000 per apprentice.

The new programme offers a three-year gold standard apprenticeship, managed by the NCTJ, to allow for graduates and school leavers without any formal journalism training to work towards a National Qualification in Journalism.

The NCTJ has said the standard will now include the National Qualification in Journalism as a mandatory ‘gateway’ qualification. The industry training body is working towards gaining approval to become an end-point assessment organisation for the new standard.

Toby Granville, editorial development director for Newsquest and chairman of the journalism ‘trailblazer’ group said: “I am delighted we have finally got this over the line. It’s taken a while to get there but it means that we will now have a full three-year gold standard apprenticeship programme managed by the NCTJ.

“As well as supporting graduate entry, this new programme will also take school leavers — with no formal journalism training or needing any kind of degree — on a journey from trainee to NQJ-qualified senior.

“I hope this will succeed in removing some of the barriers in bringing more diversity into the industry.”

Learn more about the qualification standard here.