Left to right: Edward Hardy, Jamie Green and Emily Davison

This article was first published on NCTJ website and has been republished with permission

The NCTJ is standing alongside the industry in celebrating Journalism Matters Week 2023.

From 30 October to 5 November, the News Media Association's annual campaign highlights the vital role trusted news media journalism plays in our democratic society.

Three journalists who trained with the NCTJ and are working to embody these values by bringing the voices of people with disabilities into the spotlight are Edward Hardy, Emily Davison and Jamie Green.

Edward Hardy (left) receiving the Thomas Read bursary from Mark Alford (right), director of Sky Sports News

Edward Hardy (right)

Hardy, 22, who lives in the Wirral, trained for his NCTJ diploma with News Associates Manchester on their 35-week sports journalism course.

He was presented the Thomas Read bursary through the Journalism Diversity Fund, which awards bursaries to people from diverse backgrounds who need help funding their NCTJ training.

The Thomas Read bursary is specifically for aspiring journalists with disabilities or long-term physical or mental health problems.

It was set up by the family of the late Sky Sports News journalist Thomas Read and includes a two-week placement at Sky Sports News.

Hardy, who was diagnosed with autism at age seven, said: "I send my eternal gratitude to the Read family for placing their trust in me."

Hardy is determined to not let having autism prevent him from forging a successful career in journalism and show others that it is possible.

Emily Davison (right)

Davison, who is visually impaired after being diagnosed with septo-optic dysplasia when she was born, is a trainee journalist with the News Shopper in south London.

She is also studying for the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism remotely with Darlington College while she works.

The 28-year-old secured the role after completing the NCTJ’s Certificate in Foundation Journalism with Ability Today’s Academy for Disabled Journalists.

The NCTJ has partnered with social enterprise Ability Today since 2020 to offer accessible journalism courses to aspiring journalists with disabilities and longstanding health conditions.

Students study remotely and through interactive online video classes.

She had already launched her blog 'Fashioneyesta' in 2012 with the aim of challenging people's perceptions of sight loss.

She said: "I have wanted to be a journalist for a very long time, it’s a career I have always wanted to go into."

Jamie Green (right)

Green, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, is working as a trainee journalist at ITV Meridian after completing also his training for the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism with Ability Today.

He later applied for the ITV traineeship and was over the moon to be offered the role.

He said: "[Ability Today] gave me the opportunity and the environment to make that next step from somebody who wanted to be a journalist to somebody who could be a journalist."

Read more about Emily, Edward and Jamie’s stories in our Careers Guide 2023, here.

The NCTJ's annual Careers Guide aims to encourage young people to consider a career in journalism and is sent to 4,000 secondary schools, colleges and job centres around the country.

This comes as the NCTJ team is hoping to raise £5,000 for the Thomas Read bursary.

On the Friday of Journalism Matters Week (3 November), the NCTJ team will be aiming to clock up a combined total distance of 500km travelled in one day.

There are no restrictions on the activities we can use to reach this target, which could include running, walking, cycling, rowing and more.

We will be posting updates on our social media pages throughout the fundraiser, giving live insights on how we are progressing towards our goal.

For more information about the JDF, please click here.

Find out more about our fundraiser for the Thomas Read bursary here.

To donate to our fundraiser, click here.

The NCTJ runs the premier training scheme for journalists in the UK. It provides a world-class education and training system that develops current and future journalists for the demands of a fast-changing multimedia industry.

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