Frequently asked questions

What is the John Schofield Trust? 

The John Schofield Trust is a small charity set up by the family and friends of the journalist John Schofield, who was killed in 1995 whilst working in Croatia for the BBC’s World Tonight programme. They wished to create a lasting memorial to John’s work by supporting and nurturing new and aspiring journalists, so strengthening journalism’s essential role in helping democracy function.

What is the mission of the Trust? 

The mission of the John Schofield Trust is to make all newsrooms and the media more socially inclusive and representative of the audiences they serve. We want to make a real difference by developing the potential of people who come from less privileged backgrounds and may find it harder to climb the ladder.

What does the Trust do? 

The core work of the Trust revolves around three programmes:

  • An award-winning mentoring scheme for early career journalists in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Since 2012, there have been 400+ participants from over 30 news organisations and our scheme is highly respected within the news industry. All of our Senior Fellows offer their mentoring services voluntarily
  • A mentoring scheme for journalism undergraduates studying at universities across the UK and Ireland. The pilot of this programme launched in 2023
  • Sponsorship of the JST/Royal Television Society (RTS) Young Talent of the Year award since 1996. The winners are accepted into the Fellowship and receive a mentor as part of their award. Many have gone on to become household names, including Faisal Islam, Rohit Kachroo and Matthew Price
We also run monthly masterclasses, both public facing and exclusive to our Fellows, and hosted by leaders in the industry, on a range of journalism-related subjects. Journalists of all backgrounds and experience can learn from these thought-provoking and inspiring sessions which share best practice, deepen knowledge and consolidate professional networks.

Who funds the John Schofield Trust?

The Trust is funded by a combination of grants and donations. All of the main UK broadcasters – the BBC, CNN, ITV News, Channel 4, 5 News, and Sky News – generously support the charity to help meet its vison. Individuals such as Martin Lewis, Robin Lustig and Sir Harvey McGrath have given money. We have recently partnered with, and received a grant from, the Irish public service broadcaster RTÉ. The Trust is also currently supported by Knight Ayton management, H/Advisors Cicero and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Why do we need social mobility in journalism?

We are tackling social mobility in UK broadcast newsrooms so that the news stories told truly reflect our society; and so that young people who may never have considered journalism as a career can champion the diverse stories they have lived. In the UK the lack of social mobility within journalism causes significant problems, with the media operating in an ‘echo chamber’. Our work aims to help break down the barriers to entry and progression in the industry, and to unlock the potential of disadvantaged young people across the UK. Here are just some benefits of a more diverse, representative news industry:

  • Social diversity adds value to newsrooms – different thinking, attitudes and a richer mix of voices and stories
  • Diversity in journalism strengthens democracy and encourages transparency in society
  • Inclusive newsrooms can reach all communities
  • Strengthening diversity helps journalism to reflect all perspectives and adds authenticity
  • Diversity facilitates a greater understanding of the society journalists report on

Why now? Here are the statistics