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The NCTJ is seeking additional funding for its Journalism Diversity Fund (JDF), to keep up with growing demand for bursaries.

To mark the scheme's 15th anniversary, the organisation is aiming to raise £500,000 from across the media industry. This would help the next generation of journalists from different backgrounds and communities to get into journalism.

Since its launch in 2005, the initiative has helped 347 aspiring journalists cover the costs of their training courses and enter the industry fully equipped with the skills they needed.

However, whilst NCTJ has been able to grant funding to all those who have met the criteria, head of partnerships and projects Will Gore said he was concerned about the future of the scheme.

"If we don’t attract additional funding in the next couple of years, we will get to that position where we are seeing demand outstrip supply.

"We don’t want to get in a situation where it becomes a competitive process, where you’ve got candidates hoping to demonstrate that they are more deserving than the other."

Gore also explained that the organisation wants to avoid the need to cap bursaries at a certain level, as that could result in some deserving candidates being given only part of the money they need to complete the course.

"For all sorts of people who apply for support from the Journalism Diversity Fund, it really is an all or nothing scenario.

"We want to make sure that the JDF continues to serve all of those people who need and deserve the support."

As news organisations are increasingly struggling to win audiences' trust, Gore said that it is more important than ever to ensure they look like the readers and listeners they are designed to serve.

The scheme has attracted a wide range of industry backers, including the Financial Times, Daily Mail Group, and the BBC, as well as organisations such as Google and The Printing Charity. Gore hopes that, despite the difficult climate for some publications, organisations will still consider contributing to scheme to help fund the journalists of the future.

Whilst the NCTJ does not have a fixed deadline in mind for raising the money, it wants to use the scheme’s anniversary as an opportunity to do what they can to reach their target.

"We felt it was an ambitious but not an impossible goal, but the key thing for us is to make sure that we have sufficient funds in place in the coming years to support all of those people who need our help."

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