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PressPad seeks to raise 15k to continue online Covid support

Posted on: November 25, 2020 by Mariella Brown

An award-winning media diversity organisation has launched a Crowdfunder to fund its second online support programme aimed at reducing industry access barriers for aspiring journalists during the Covid-19 crisis.

PressPad Remote saw more than 7,800 young people attend events including industry masterclasses, CV and pitch clinics, and mentoring from April to July of this year.

The organisation has set its sights for a £15,000 target to replicate the programme with a particular emphasis on 1-2-1 career clinics to assist those hit hardest by the pandemic. The programme follows research which has shown 61% of employers cancelling their work experience placements schemes this year.

If successful in reaching the target, PressPad could win up to £15,000 extra match funding from local authorities and other Covid-related grants.

The organisation which won the 2019 WIJ Georgina Henry Award at the SoE’s National Press Awards for 2019 specialises in reducing the financial barrier of entry into the media and championing those shut out of journalism for economic and geographic reasons. Prior to the pandemic, PressPad specialised in matching aspiring journalists doing unpaid internships with editors and journalists who could offer a spare room.

During the first season of PressPad’s remote programme which aligned with the organisation’s aim to level up industry diversity, 33% of attendees considered themselves working class and 28% identified as Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority.

Qais Hussain, an aspiring journalist from Bradford, attended most of PressPad Remote’s sessions and received a paid commission to write for their blog.

He said: “Living in Yorkshire and being 16, I never thought journalism was for me, the idea never crossed my mind – that was until I discovered PressPad. I love the community that PressPad has created and the willingness of people to help. Usually, workshops have to be paid for, PressPad was very different, every activity they ran was free – which made it accessible to students like me.”

According to The Sutton Trust almost half of current undergraduates (46%) believe the pandemic has had a negative effect on their chances of finding a job and 39% of graduate employers say they expect to hire fewer graduates, or none at all, in the next 12 months.

PressPad founder, Olivia Crellin said, “PressPad continues its dedication to removing the financial and geographic barriers of entry into the media by pivoting to provide online support with PressPad Remote. Our small team, at the height of the pandemic, worked tirelessly and quickly to be there for our young journalists; the reach and type of people we were able to help speaks for itself.”

#PassItOn to a new generation of journalists: PressPad is accepting Crowdfunder donations here https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/bring-presspadremote-back