The First Jobs Fund will offer financial assistance to cover the cost of relocation, accommodation, transport, and equipment.
The scheme is aimed at supporting young journalists who are often burdened by high levels of student debt and face an increasing cost of living, especially in London.
The charity’s CEO, James Brindle said: “There are too many stories of young journalists with huge potential giving up their dream because they can’t afford to break into the industry. That is an absolute tragedy – not only for the individuals concerned, but for journalism as a whole which is missing out on talent and experience as a result. It’s great to see that employers are stepping-up their efforts to make a difference, but as the national charity for the industry, it’s vital we play our part.”
This extra layer of support complements the charity’s long standing existing offer, which provides financial assistance to working journalists with two or more years’ experience, as well as being available to former journalists and their dependants.
The charity’s Chair, Ramsay Smith said: “The Journalists’ Charity has a proud history of providing support and assistance when times get tough, and young journalists need all the help they can get right now, especially after such a difficult year. With this fund the charity is looking to the future, playing our part in supporting the next wave of journalistic talent.”
During 2020 the charity helped hundreds of journalists affected by the impact of Covid-19 as the industry faced one of the biggest challenges in its history. Through its First Jobs Fund, the charity will play its part in safeguarding the future of journalism, removing obstacles to the point of entry and offering help in those critical first couple of years, says the organisation.
BBC News podcast producer Georgia Coan has added her backing to the initiative: “I started my journey into journalism as an apprentice and was able to get work experience at the local radio station, but wouldn’t have been able to get that experience if it was in London. Everyone should have the opportunity to become a journalist, regardless of their background or a lack of connections to the industry.”
To be eligible, applicants must be able to show they are new to journalism – either working in their first paid role, as a full-time freelance, or about to start a new role with a firm offer letter.
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