XCity magazine 2020 by City, University of London, journalism department

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given journalism as a possible career goal at school. Arts Emergency is another organisation aiming to tackle the issue of under-representation in journalism. Its staff supports young people from state school sixth forms, further education colleges and social housing who are interested in pursuing careers within creative industries, including the media. Carys Nelkon, Head of Programmes at Arts Emergency, says: “What we want to see is young people in schools in the most deprived areas of the UK being told how to get into journalism and being given more guidance. “Pupils from middle-class families are more likely to have connections and to have more confidence, so when one of our mentors matches up with one of our young people, they give them the right advice but also push them to believe in themselves and their abilities,” she adds. Another young reporter who has benefited from various diversity schemes is Jem Bartholomew, who grew up in Exeter in council housing in a single-parent household. The 24-year-old is currently studying journalism at Columbia University, which he was able to attend thanks to the Fulbright Alumni Scholarship. The scholarship gives UK citizens the opportunity to study any course at any university in the US for free. A University of Oxford graduate, Bartholomew applied for the scholarship hoping a master’s degree would improve his prospects. “Not being from London, I spent weeks sleeping on sofas, doing internships when I could, and then going back to Exeter and working in bars,” he says. “I also sent 65 job applications to various news organisations and was rejected each time.” Through the diversifying scheme Creative Access, he was offered an eighteen-month job contract at the FT, working as a reporter. Creative Access is an organisation that pairs journalists from underprivileged backgrounds with newsrooms that are committed to promoting diversity. Seven months into his contract at the FT, he was awarded the Fulbright Alumni Scholarship, and although it meant having to quit his job, he didn’t want to miss out on a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity. Bartholomew believes that the need for diverse voices in British newsrooms is urgent: “Not diversifying means missing the next Windrush scandal and the signs of another Grenfell Tower disaster. It means not being able to report on how Brexit is changing communities and continuing to focus, instead, on the narrow horse race of Westminster lobby politics. And I think that will be catastrophic for newspapers in this country.”

The Marjorie Deane scholarship

Written by Annabel Nugent

The Marjorie Deane foundation was set up in 1998 by the eponymous financial reporter. The former Economist journalist paved the way for women in the field, and her legacy is a foundation that ensures this space for underrepresented voices continues to grow. Together with the foundation, City, University of London offers scholarships for at least two students a year to study financial journalism at the university, covering fees and some living expenses. Jane Martinson, Head of the MA Financial Journalism course at City, says: “There isn’t really a similar course in the UK. Other universities offer courses in finance, whereas the City course teaches all the basics of journalism - from news writing to use of platforms from TV to online, with a focus on business and finance.” LaToya Harding, now a Business Reporter for The Daily Telegraph, was one recipient of the scholarship. “The bursary helped me to focus solely on my course without having to seek work outside of university to help pay for rent.” The course includes the opportunity for students to spend two weeks abroad in China and New York. As Martinson says: “In a world which is increasingly global, getting the chance to go and understand these two dominant economies is invaluable.” Through an extensive alumni network, the course opens up connections to the world’s biggest media outlets; over 90 per cent of students go straight into work after graduating. For more information on the Marjorie Deane scholarship and how to apply, contact jane.martinson@city.ac.uk.



both City’s MA Magazine Journalism and MA Broadcast Journalism courses has remained stagnant over the last five years. On average, 1 in 10 students on the MA Magazine course were from BAME backgrounds, while only 12 per cent of people on the MA Broadcast course were BAME. Nicole Garcia Merida, 21, is from Guatemala and studied Magazine Journalism at City from 2018 to 2019. She was one of three people of colour on the course. She says: “It bothered me that there weren’t many of us. There was a lack of points of view.” Tobi Thomas, from north London, is an Interactive Journalism student at City and a recipient of the Guardian Scott Trust Bursary. The bursary financially assists three young people studying journalism from BAME and workingclass backgrounds each year. “I don’t think that the industry is diverse enough at all. The fact that it’s expensive to get into and that it’s all about who you know is off-putting for a lot of people from low income backgrounds. I wouldn’t have been able to study at City without the Guardian’s bursary,” she says. Although the Scott Trust Bursary was beneficial to Thomas, the fact remains that it is only awarded to three journalism master’s students across three institutions. A lack of wide-ranging scholarship and bursary funds is a huge barrier for those coming from working-class backgrounds, struggling to fund their course or paying living costs in cities like London. Media organisations are slowly taking notice of this and are trying to ensure that opportunities are available to everyone. The Spectator has introduced a paid no-CV internship scheme in 2016. Meanwhile, the Financial Times (FT) offers up to three months paid internships, as well as sixmonth fellowships for BAME journalists. In 2015, Channel 4 launched several initiatives to try to improve its socioeconomic diversity within the organisation, and since then, it has launched a paid apprenticeship scheme, set up bases in Leeds, Glasgow and Bristol, and prevented employees from bringing in family members for work experience. Setting up newsrooms in other areas of the UK is a step in the right direction. The internet has contributed to a decline in local media, meaning that many journalistic opportunities tend to be in one place, usually large cities like Manchester or London. But these cities are experiencing a housing crisis, making it difficult for people from underprivileged backgrounds to live there. The decline in local media also means that children and young people growing up in rural areas of the UK are not

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