Three student journalists from diverse backgrounds today won bursaries to help fund their training in journalism.
Press Association trainee Shamaan Freeman-Powell was awarded the Claire Prosser bursary, named after the former BBC training director who was a champion for diversity before her death in 2014.
Connor Parker, of the University of Sheffield, and Rory Claydon, of Cardiff University, were joint recipients of the Thomas Read bursary.
Read, who had cerebral palsy, was working as a sports reporter at Sky when he died in 2015 from complications following surgery. His family set up the bursary in his name with help from the NCTJ.
Parker said: “I’m over the moon – I didn’t know that I was even in the running. It’s a great thing to get and I’m very happy.”
The bursary awards were given out at a Journalism Diversity Fund event at Google’s London headquarters today.
NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher told Press Gazette: “[The Journalism Diversity Fund] recipients are always of a very high standard because they have gone through a very rigorous applications and interview process and its one of the reasons why they all go into journalist jobs and that’s the key to success: getting them into the newsrooms so they can represent their audiences.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done but events like this raise its profile, puts it on to people’s agenda and it’s great that people are being so open about the importance of not just recruiting diversity talent but also retaining that talent and developing people’s careers, but also brining prominence to mental health and disability as well.
“There are no easy solutions but there is a real will to tackle the issue.”
A group of this year’s Journalism Diversity Fund grant recipients are pictured above.
The fund today received a donation of £100,000 from the Newspaper Licensing Agency, which collects fees from libraries and press cuttings companies.