View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. News
September 11, 2020updated 07 Nov 2023 5:46am

Reach creates trainee jobs to improve newsroom diversity as it launches Bucks Live title

By Charlotte Tobitt

Reach, the UK’s largest commercial publisher, has created its first standalone training scheme to improve the diversity of its newsrooms.

The publisher said it wanted to improve representation of minority ethnic journalists and those from less privileged social classes with the new scheme, called Reach Boost.

It will pay for journalists to train for their NCTJ diploma while in full-time employment, earning £19,000 and £20,000 once they are qualified, in the London and south east region.

Luke Jacobs, new audiences editor for the region, said the company has already put strategies in place “to rapidly improve diversity and inclusion in our content, improving our recruitment practices and becoming an inclusive and secure environment for staff from all backgrounds.

“The Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests has shown the desperate need to widen perspectives in our newsrooms and in our coverage,” he added.

“Our journalists are passionate about the areas they cover, but we can only be truly representative if we best reflect them at all levels, including entry.”

One position has already been funded in a pilot project in the region, and three more trainees “who would not normally have the opportunity to enter this industry” are now being recruited in Reach’s London, Essex and Kent newsrooms.

Content from our partners
Cannes Lions: The world's best creativity all in one place
L'Equipe signs content syndication deal with The Content Exchange
Journalism can be relentless: But overworking could be fatal

If the scheme is successful, Reach said it could be rolled out across more regions.

The company already sponsors the Journalism Diversity Fund while national newsbrand the Mirror partners with City University on a Widening Media Diversity Scholarship to encourage more Muslim journalists into the profession.

Reach is also recruiting for a number of other roles in London and the south east despite cutting around 550 jobs across its national and regional titles this summer in response to Covid-19 challenges.

The jobs on offer include three SEO writers, two photographers for Kent and Sussex, content editors for London, Cambridgeshire and Buckinghamshire, and an audience editor for Surrey and Hampshire.

Reach announced earlier this week it is preparing to launch a new Buckinghamshire Live website in the region, hot on the heels of its launches for Hertfordshire, Sussex and Hampshire.

Many of the other major publishers also run training or apprenticeship schemes, although some were put on hold this year because of Covid-19.

An event hosted by the Bureau Local this month heard a warning that tackling diversity only at the bottom rung of the newsroom can look like “window dressing” and that more needs to be done to keep hold of mid-career journalists from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in particular.

Picture: Free-Photos/Pixabay 

Topics in this article :

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network