Discussions about racism and bigotry in British journalism hit fever pitch in recent months. In March, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle accused the British tabloid press of racism in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. The Society of Editors hit back against the claims in a statement from its executive director Ian Murray who quit his role a few days later following an industry-wide outcry.
What can be done about these tensions and inequalities in the industry? Change is necessary, according to Nikki Akinola, diversity and inclusion coordinator for the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). But that change must be a flood of diverse talent going beyond race and include genders, disabilities and socio-economic backgrounds.
Since 2005, the NCTJ has run its Journalism Diversity Fund, an industry-supported bursary for journalism students from diverse backgrounds studying on NCTJ courses. This year, however, has been catalytic for the fund. Just this week, Insider Inc. joined CNN, ITV and Yahoo News as four media organisations to back the scheme in 2021. That brings up a total of 18 organisations that not only provide monetary support but also guidance in the form of industry mentors.
Akinola, who was brought in last August, shares in this week's podcast how the fund tackles inequalities in British journalism. It has supported journalists like Nadine White, who went onto becoming The Independent's first race correspondent last month. More success stories like hers are needed to create lasting change and fight bigotry and racism in the industry.
We're so pleased to announce @InsiderInc @thisisinsider as the latest sponsor of @The_JDF.— NCTJ (@NCTJ_news) April 13, 2021
It is the fourth news publisher this year to give financial backing to the scheme, which has helped over 400 students from diverse backgrounds since 2005.
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