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21 March 2012

Free Money for Diversity

Regular readers on here will know I'm a big advocate for diversity in newsrooms, so when there's a chance to help someone from a non-typical background break into journalism I'll do all I can to bang the drum for it.

Just about the only big industry player still putting serious money into radio journalism training is The Guardian, through its parent body the Scott Trust.

Now I'm not always the biggest fan of The Guardian's editorial stance. Their continuing obsession with phone hacking and their demonising of Rupert Murdoch drive me round the twist most of the time.

But when The Guardian believes in something they do put serious money behind it, and I'm delighted that the Postgraduate Broadcast course at Leeds Trinity University College has attracted one of just  two Scott Trust Broadcast bursaries awarded each year in three years out of the past four.

That success rate must say something about the range and diversity of the candidates we attract at Leeds Trinity, and it's something I'm very proud of.

Now there's just a week left for applications and I'd really like to see that money come to the course so we can help a candidate from our part of the world break into wireless.

Diversity means much more in 2012 than race or physical ability; a big concern of mine is the lack of applicants from less prosperous backgrounds; although I suppose it's hardly surprising when  the fees are over £5,000 and a typical graduate with the 2:1 degree we normally require already has debts of £14K or so. As well as paying fees the Scott Trust also makes a contribution to living expenses.

So please spread the word about the Scott Trust Bursaries. They also work with other institutions around the UK where Smooth or Real Radio have a presence

All the information you need to apply is on the Scott Trust website.

BTW if you see Alan Rusbridger do tell him that although his editorial obsessions drive me to distraction I will defend to the death his right to say it etc etc and we are very grateful for The Guardian's genuine commitment to encouraging diversity in radio news. 

After all, paying for a couple of places on Broadcast Journalism PG courses is more than some Bloody Big Competitors are prepared to do, and that's a shame.

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