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.
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.
The core work of the Trust revolves around three programmes:
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.
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: