We have expanded the scheme for the fifth year running and we now have sixty early career journalists who are being mentored by senior professionals in the news industry. Senior Fellows this year include Ronke Phillips, Peter Smith and Dino Sofos, and we are delighted that Alex Crawford, Nina Dos Santos, Rohit Kachroo and Chris Mason (amongst others) are returning to volunteer as mentors.
Our Fellows come from a wide range of news stables, such as Audio Always, Tortoise, Whistledown Productions, as well as mainstream channels such as BBC News, ITN and Sky News.
In terms of our Fellows’ backgrounds, we are confident that across the board, this cohort is our most diverse yet (figure in brackets show our figures for last year):
% who received free school meals: 23% (13%)
% who have a disability: 21% (17%)
% attending non-selective state school: 57% (62%)
% who were first generation to attend HE 43% (35%)
% who are from non-white backgrounds: 31% (35%)
% who identify as non-heterosexual: 28% (13%)
David Stenhouse, CEO of the John Schofield Trust, said: ‘the future of journalism looks very bright with this year’s cohort of Fellows. It is the Trust’s vision to have newsrooms staffed by people who come from all walks of life so their audiences can better connect with them. It’s gratifying to see that in this year’s Fellows, we have an abundance of talent coming from so many different backgrounds and so many different parts of the UK.
‘Our new Fellows live from the south coast of England to the Shetland Islands. They range in age from their early twenties to their late fifties. They are in every key indicator more diverse and more representative of UK society than the industry they are entering. They are in every respect the future of the news media.
‘We are proud to play our part in nurturing and supporting them at this critical point in their careers.’
The mentoring scheme runs for 12 months and we look forward to meeting all our participants both virtually and, we hope, in-person over the course of the year.