News UK last night launched a 'News Academy' which invites sixth formers around the UK to learn more about becoming a journalist.
Journalists working on The Times, Sunday Times and The Sun will visit schools around the country and the News Academy aims to be directly involved in at least 350 schools. News UK will host confrences in Dublin, Cardiff, Manchester and London as part of the scheme.
Launching the initiative last night at a reception for all News UK staff, chief executive Mike Darcey said the News Academy is part of News UK's "core purpose" to "build a sustainable model for the next generation of journalists".
He said: "At News UK we have made a real commitment to help secure a sustainable future for our professional journalism so that we can stay at the cutting edge of this rapidly-changing industry in the digital era.
“The way people consume news may change, but it will always be our job to provide high quality news, entertainment, comment and opinion and to challenge the world around us to equip our readers to make informed decisions in their lives. Through the News Academy, we hope to help and inspire the newsmakers of tomorrow to continue fulfilling this vital role.”
Some 15 student ambassadors for the News Academy attended last night's reception including 17-year-old Newham six-form student Shingi Mariarke.
Addressing an audience which included all News UK's national newspaper editors he said: "One question on everyone's mind here this evening is what is the future of journalism going to be. I believe the answer to that question lies in this room. We want to work alongside the best of the best of our dream profession in order to become well rounded young journalists.
"Through the News Academy we already have a foot in the door. We want to make sure that foot in the door becomes an arm and a leg."
He said that state school pupils were often told they would never get into journalism because they did not have the connections and he hoped the News Academy would change that.
More information for schools and students is available on the News Academy website.