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Credit: Image by DeaPeaJay on Flickr. Some rights reserved
Wannabe Hacks has today launched a mentoring scheme for young journalists to get one-to-one advice from respected reporters and editors around the UK.

The scheme, which is free to all Wannabe Hacks members, is designed to offer advice and guidance that is crucial when you are first starting out.

Hacks has always been about trying to help people figure out to get into journalismNick Petrie, Wannabe Hacks
Nick Petrie, co-founder and managing editor of Wannabe Hacks, said: "Hacks has always been about trying to help people figure out how to get into journalism and to give them a leg-up and a sign-post along the way.

"It felt like we'd got to the point now where some of us are established enough and have good networks and colleagues, that we'd be in a position to really take a step forwards in how we support young journalists."

Petrie, who is now deputy head of news development at The Times and The Sunday Times, said the Hacks team had conceived the idea of a mentoring scheme around five months ago.

More than 20 journalists have signed up as mentors so far, including Kate Day, social media and engagement editor at The Telegraph, Kate McCann, political journalist at City AM, and Maria Breslin, executive editor digital, Trinity Mirror Merseyside.

Others include ex-Wannabe Hacks Matt Caines, Guardian Culture Network editor, Alice Vincent, Daily Telegraph entertainment writer, Scott Bryan, writer at Buzzfeed, and Petrie himself.

Though most mentors at present are London-based, Wannabe Hacks have also signed up Trinity Mirror's digital development editor Ed Walker and digital innovation editor Alison Gow, plus executive editors at the the Manchester Evening News, the Liverpool Daily Echo and the Huddersfield Examiner.

Wannabe Hacks members can apply to the scheme via the website, and Petrie and the team will aim to match them with a mentor depending on their experience and location.

They will receive a full year of mentoring, with mentors committing to offering two hours of their time per month in person and via email.

Where possible, the idea is for young journalists to meet their mentors for coffee once a month and talk through any challenges they might be having with applying for jobs or getting the most out of their work experience placement.

Anyone is welcome to apply, whether they are student journalists or moving into the industry from another career sector, although Petrie notes that mentoring places will be limited by how many mentors sign up to the scheme.

"We will always be looking to add as many mentors as possible so if anyone is interested, we'd love to hear from them," he said.

Petrie added that although the team had been trying to pick mentors with a range of experience, he did not think journalists needed many years in the industry to be a good mentor.

"Actually some people might find it easier to develop a relationship with someone closer to their level of experience who's just gone through the process of having found a job," he added.

Anyone who would like to sign up to the scheme can register at wannabehacks.co.uk/mentoring while those interested in becoming a mentor can email mentors@wannabehacks.co.uk

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