Frequently asked questions

What is the John Schofield Trust? 

The John Schofield Trust (JST) 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 and so strengthen journalism’s essential role in helping democracy function.

What is the mission of the Trust? 

The mission of the JST 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 find it hard to climb the ladder and come from less privileged backgrounds.

What does the Trust do? 

The core work of the Trust revolves around three programmes: 

  • An online mentoring scheme which mentors Year 12 students from disadvantaged backgrounds around the UK 
  • An award-winning face-to-face mentoring scheme for young journalists in the UK. 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 mentors are volunteers 
  • Sponsorship of the JST/Royal Television Society (RTS) Young Talent of the Year award since 1996. There have been 25 award-winners since its inception in 1996, many of whom have gone on to become household names, e.g. Faisal Islam, Rohit Kachroo and Matthew Price 
  • Masterclasses for our mentees given by leaders in the industry covering different aspects of the media industry. Throughout the current lock-down we have been holding online masterclasses allowing young mentees as well as students to learn from thought-provoking and inspiring sessions which share best practice, deepen knowledge and consolidate professional networks 

Who funds the JST? 

The Trust is funded by a combination of grants and donations. All of the main UK broadcasters – the BBC, CNN, ITV 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. Recently we have received a grant from the Garfield Weston Foundation.

Why do we need social mobility in journalism?

We are tackling social mobility in UK broadcast newsrooms so that the news stories which are told truly reflect our society; 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.

Why now? Here are the statistics 

What are the wider benefits to society ​of the JST​’s work? 

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