It’s always fantastic to catch up with both past and present mentees and mentors who work in newsrooms in every region of the UK. The John Schofield Trust is now in its seventh year of mentoring journalists in the early stages of their careers. We had our annual reception recently, and we caught up with several of them during the evening.
Alex Collins, mentee 2014-15, mentored by Nina Nannar, Arts Editor, ITV News
‘The JST scheme really helped change my career really, I’d been at the BBC for a long time but felt I was flatlining. Through the scheme what was great was that I was paired with a mentor from ITV so immediately made me feel like I could talk to people in a different institution and compare and contrast their work and practice. But mainly the best thing about it was that I had a mentor who I could talk to about anything from how to do a successful interview through to how to network effectively to how to pitch a story, so basically it really helped change my journalistic career for the better.’
Brad Grant, mentee 2018-19, mentored by Rachel Corp, Deputy and Acting Editor, ITV News
‘The JST completely changed my course of direction in terms of journalism. I come from a working class background, there weren’t many people who I looked up to. I was wondering how do I get there, I’ve got no connections in journalism, but I had this urge and this passion to become a journalist, and through the JST I got in a position where I was able to apply for the ITV News traineeship, and now I’m a trainee and I’m doing my dream career. I’m excited that I can come to these events every year now and think, wow. So I would say to anyone considering applying to the JST do not rule yourself out, do give it a shot, I applied, I wasn’t sure if I was going to get on the scheme, but believe in yourself and the people on the scheme will believe in you and get out what you want to achieve, and it’s the best thing ever, and it’s vital that schemes like the JST exist because without it I don’t think I’d be where I am today so I owe a lot to the scheme and to everyone involved.’
Holly Jones, mentee 2012-13, mentored by Matthew Amroliwala, Presenter, BBC World News
‘I’m currently the news editor at Global Radio in London. I was a mentee back in 2012 when the scheme first started, and I always come back to the events it’s a great way to meet people, make connections, network. Also the scheme itself really really helped me I was at a time in my career where I was in local radio in Norfolk, I didn’t really know where my career was going, and it was really useful to have Matthew Amroliwala as my mentor because we were able to meet in London, have chats about what I wanted to do, where I wanted my career to go, whether I‘d stay in radio or whether I wanted to move into television and, just having that person to talk to was really invaluable, and getting his advice I think helped me get my first job in London and I’ve been there ever since. I’ve just moved up and obviously I’m News Editor in the newsroom where I started, so definitely would recommend JST to anyone who’s thinking of going into journalism or is a journalist starting out.’
Mahatir Pasha, current mentee, mentored by Chris Morris, BBC Reality Check correspondent
‘I’m an Assistant News Editor at ITV News, and I’m a mentee on the JST. The Trust is absolutely fantastic, I’ve been involved in it for a few months now and I’ve loved every moment. My mentor is fantastic, I’ve been very lucky to be matched up with Chris Morris who’s a correspondent at the BBC. He’s very proactive and he’s always trying to arrange dates for us to meet, and his advice and wisdom is completely just priceless, so I really do hope that people will apply for this in the future and people will contribute generously to help keep the Trust going.’
Roohi Hasan, is a current mentor and a senior producer with C4News. Her mentee is Rosetta Fourlagawo.
‘I think the scheme is a brilliant idea, I’ve been a big fan for a few years and this is finally my year where I’m able to be a mentor. I have a brilliant mentee, someone who’s been sort of struggling to break in and I’m really glad that I matched with her and I can help her. It’s such a simple yet effective example of people in the industry who even just or a short space of time can help the next generation, who are trying to move on to their next challenges and goals, but also sometimes just don’t feel comfortable speaking to people in their own newsrooms. So if there are more people who think they don’t have time to mentor, honestly it only takes an hour or so outside of your week often or month, but it’s really worth it and could be life-changing for a young journalist, and if you’re a young journalist I’d definitely apply.’
Rossetta Fourlagawo, current mentee
‘I currently work at Channel 5 news as an Assistant News Editor. The Trust has been really helpful with me getting this role. It had always been my desire to get into news reporting and current affairs, and with the Trust I’ve been able to get into that field. It’s been really, really, really great, I feel like my mentor is really nurturing, the Trust in itself is a nurturing organisation. I would really recommend anyone who wants to get into journalism or who is quite young in the industry to try and get into something like this.’
Lora Jones, is a current mentee. Her mentor is Matt Brindley, Head of Output, ITV News
‘My mentor has been really instrumental in helping me along in my career, thanks to them I’m moving on from a researcher role to a reporter role this year, and they’ve provided me with really practical advice and CV feedback and job interview tips, as well as just helping me navigate what I really want to get out of my career.’