Undergraduate Journalism Student Mentoring

What is it?

In 2023 we introduced 12 months of mentoring for undergraduate journalism students from across the UK and ROI. We believe this is the first scheme of its kind and we’re pleased to announce that this new and much-needed offer to students will be made a permanent part of the Trust’s programmes in 2024.

We prioritise applicants who come to the industry with less privilege and fewer connections.

Chris Hackett

How does the scheme work? 

The offering is simple – each student is paired with an experienced journalist from the area they wish to enter (e.g. if someone is interested in TV sports commentary we will match them with a sports commentator from broadcasting). We won’t just match based on area of journalism but also based on lived experiences and expressed preferences to make the best possible match. In similar fashion to our Early Career programme, the mentoring is 12 months long, and is conducted through a mixture of in-person and virtual meetings.

Every student who takes part will become a Fellow of the John Schofield Trust, and mentors become Senior Fellows.

As well as individual mentoring becoming a Fellow enables students to access our monthly free masterclasses and gain access to our wider network of over 1000 journalists.

The Pilot

This programme for journalism students was introduced as a pilot in 2023 with six participating universities:

  • University of Northampton
  • University of Kent
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • Dublin City University
  • Edinburgh Napier University

You can find the full announcement, including quotes from journalism lecturers here.

The pilot will finish in 2023, except LJMU, whose students begin their mentoring in September 2023.

Feedback has been fantastic so far, and a full assessment will be conducted in June and July 2023 with results published soon after.

Clive MyrieJST reception

“John Schofield was the kind of man who gives journalism a good name.”

Robin Lustig, former BBC Presenter

“John was a brilliant journalist and a delightful man… He had the intelligence, integrity and courage to get to the top of his profession and it is a tragedy that such a brilliant career should come to such a shockingly premature end.”

Richard Tait, former Editor-in-Chief, ITN

“John’s gentle manners, ever-ready smile and openness were always a great boost to the spirit even on the most mundane of news days.”

Zeinab Badawi, BBC Presenter

“The John Schofield Trust is an amazing organisation. In these difficult, challenging times for the media industry, it’s really important to support young journalists.”

Ben Brown, BBC Presenter

“Every young journalist needs support. They need guidance. They need to fight. And that’s exactly what the Trust does.”

Ronke Philipps, ITV News Correspondent

“It’s really exciting to to witness first hand this next generation of journalists that will help shape the media landscape, and build faith and trust in the industry.”

Cordelia Lynch, Sky News Correspondent

‘Simply put – [the mentoring programme] enabled me to pursue my dream career. Without the support of my mentor and the John Schofield Trust it would not have been possible.”

2018 Fellow

“It is a brilliant, practical and productive scheme which, in a cross-generational way, improves journalism for everyone.”

2018 Fellow

“I want [the industry] to be in a position where it’s not rare to have loads of different people from different backgrounds; not just racial, but also class backgrounds and everything.”

Ayshah Tull (2014), C4 News Reporter

“When I was looking for work, particularly in light of my disability, I couldn’t get started. It was the Trust that helped me get my foot in the door, to be seen and recognised by the relevant people. To this day, when I mention my involvement with the scheme to people their eyes light up.”

Max Preston (2012), Sky News producer

“There is group-think [in journalism] and I’ve succumbed to it plenty of times, despite the fact I went to a comp.”

Lewis Goodall (2014), Policy Editor, BBC Newsnight

“Being properly representative of modern Britain both on and off-air is essential to earning audience trust in our news output. Audiences need to hear and see themselves reflected in the mirror we hold up to them.”

Carla-Maria Lawson, Head of BBC Daytime and Early Peak

“If I heard a Scottish voice on the news, especially if it wasn’t a particularly posh one, it gave me hope as a state educated Scot in Glasgow that there could be a future for me in that industry.”

Peter Smith (2014), Scotland Correspondent, ITV News

“It’s been reassuring to know that I could go into journalism with any degree and that having a passion for it is the main thing… It’s also been great to talk to someone from such a diverse background, it makes me realise that your differences are what makes you stand out and that can be an advantage in lots of situations.”

2018 Fellow

“The Trust makes people feel that whoever you are and wherever you’re from, a career in the media is well within your reach – and you deserve it.”

Minnie Stephenson, C4 News Reporter

“I learned a lot about how my mentee is navigating her career, how my experience as a senior journalist and manager can help me inspire others and that the ‘informal conversation’ approach is extremely useful in being a mentor and learning from my mentee. Thoroughly rewarding.”

Senior Fellow, 2023

“My expectations [of the scheme] were quite high considering the amount of brilliant Senior Fellows there were. But my expectations were far exceeded.”

2022 Fellow

“I know now that if I need help I always have someone to go to. That in itself is invaluable.”

2022 Fellow

“The mentoring has been excellent for both my confidence and my mental health. My mentor’s willingness to exercise his connections to further my career is hugely admirable.”

2022 Fellow

“The care and attention that went into the mentor selection is evident in my experience. My mentor has faced similar challenges to me and is in a good place to offer considered and accurate advice.”

2022 Fellow

“From discussions and practice scenarios I’ve had with my mentor I’ve been able to tick many milestones off my list, from presenting to reporting live and working on original stories.”

2022 Fellow

“My mentor and I have very similar cultural backgrounds and a mutual understanding of any hurdles we might have crossed.”

2022 Fellow

“My mentor is one of a handful of people I have met from a similar background to mine in journalism. Being able to have frank conversations about some of the challenges of the industry is fantastic.”

2022 Fellow

“What’s great about the scheme is you get partnered with an experienced journalist outside of your organisation who can provide invaluable advice. My mentor, Roohi Hasan, gave me so much encouragement to go for opportunities to advance my career and I’m so thankful!”

Nabihah Parkar (2021), Vice News journalist

“The mentoring programme means I always have someone to go to with questions, ranging from big job moves to day-to-day questions about the industry. On top of that the masterclasses and networking events have meant I’ve met so many of my peers, which has been invaluable.”

Eirian Prosser (2021), MailOnline reporter

“The mentoring scheme helped me, and continues to help me, at a crucial time in my career. It had a big impact on my confidence in myself as a journalist. It pushed me to go for new opportunities and remain resilient. It was brilliant to have a regional mentor with whom I had so much in common. Being outside of my organisation, she has helped keep my perspective. She has helped me through lots of decisions, big and small. The JST scheme really does what it sets out to do – it changes lives.”

Naomi de Souza (2021), Birmingham Live senior reporter