BMJ becomes latest sponsor of NCTJ Journalism Diversity Fund

Corporate announcement

14 June 2021

Today, BMJ became an official partner of the National Council for the Training of Journalists‘ (NCTJ) Journalism Diversity Fund (JDF). The healthcare knowledge provider and publisher of The BMJ will contribute financially and actively participate in the JDF’s mentoring programme by giving successful candidates the opportunity to gain insights into the specialised branch of journalism.

Chris Jones, BMJ Chief Executive Officer, said: “At BMJ, our vision is to help create a healthier world for all. We know that to fulfil that vision, we need to identify with the communities we support. That’s why we are delighted that this partnership allows us to directly impact underrepresented groups of people in a positive way.”

Will Gore, Head of Partnerships and Projects at the NCTJ, added “It is brilliant to welcome the BMJ as a supporter of the JDF, as we work together to ensure that people can get access to professional journalism training, whatever their background. We love introducing people to the wide variety of opportunities in the industry and are hugely looking forward to connecting the students we support with the BMJ’s highly specialised form of journalism.

The growth of the JDF in the last couple of years has demonstrated the considerable commitment from our sector to diversify newsrooms. The track record of the scheme speaks for itself, and it’s great that so many employers – who will ultimately benefit from the talent of JDF alumni – are offering their support.”

About the JDF: The scheme was established in 2005, funded by an annual grant from NLA media access. Since then, it has enabled more than 400 people from disadvantaged backgrounds to undertake professional journalism training on NCTJ-accredited courses. In 2020 alone, the JDF offered assistance to a record 59 individuals due to the generous financial support from a growing number of media partners.

Since the start of this year, the JDF has received financial backing from six new partners and is now supported by 19 media organisations.

The NCTJ continues to seek additional funding sources so that this tried and trusted programme can meet demand from the rising number of prospective journalists who would otherwise not be able to gain professional qualifications.

Bursaries are awarded to help cover the costs of NCTJ Diploma in Journalism course fees and/or living expenses, depending on an individual’s specific circumstances. All bursary recipients are matched with a professional journalist mentor from one of the sponsoring media organisations for the duration of their course.

Successful candidates are also connected with work experience opportunities and other insight events organised by the NCTJ and its JDF partners.

The Journalism Diversity Fund is now supported financially by 19 media organisations: BBC, Bloomberg, BMJ, CNN International, DMG Media, Dow Jones, Financial Times, Google News Initiative, Insider Inc, ITV News, Newsquest, News UK, NLA media access, PA Media, The Printing Charity, Reach Plc, Reuters, Sky and Yahoo UK.

All sponsoring organisations play an active role in the evolution of the scheme.

The NCTJ recently released a new report about levels of diversity within the journalism field. The report revealed that people from lower socio-economic backgrounds and those who are black or from other minority ethnic groups remain under-represented in journalist roles.

About BMJ: BMJ is a global healthcare knowledge provider with a vision for a healthier world. We share knowledge and expertise to improve healthcare outcomes. The organisation publishes one of the world’s top four most cited general medical journals, The BMJ, and more than 70 scientific and allied journals. It also supports healthcare professionals by providing clinical decision support, events and e-learning tools and resources.

As an employer and a leading voice in global medicine and health, at BMJ we strongly oppose racism and support racial equity because more equal societies are healthier societies.

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