The Guardian Foundation expands industry-leading Scott Trust Bursary to include specific places for Black students


The Guardian Foundation has announced the expansion of its Scott Trust Bursary scheme, to include three additional places specifically for Black aspiring journalists in the U.K., as well as new opportunities in the U.S. and Australia.

For 35 years the bursary scheme has assisted students who come from backgrounds underrepresented in the media, offering funding and experience at a level unmatched by any other U.K. journalism scholarship. The expansion will be funded by the Scott Trust over the next decade as part of its response to independent research into the Guardian’s historical connections to transatlantic slavery.

The Scott Trust Bursary is a key part of The Guardian Foundation’s work to facilitate voice and agency with those who face barriers entering careers in journalism. The scheme offers tuition fees, living expenses, mentoring and work placements at the Guardian. Many recipients have gone on to successful careers in the industry, working for news outlets such as the Guardian, BBC, New York Times, Financial Times and the Mirror. The scheme’s alumni includes Gary Younge, Samira Ahmed, Tariq Panja, Simon Murphy, Pippa Crerar, Lanre Bakare and more.

The Foundation is partnering with Birmingham City, Leeds Trinity and Manchester Metropolitan Universities to offer the additional places. With its expansion, the scheme will become the only one in the U.K. to offer the combination of a full MA bursary, living allowance and work placements specifically for people of African and/or Caribbean descent, including mixed backgrounds. Three places will remain available at City University, Goldsmiths University and University of Sheffield for students from all backgrounds underrepresented in the media.

In the coming months, The Guardian Foundation will be working with Guardian editors in the U.S. and Australia to create equivalent schemes with two scholarships/paid training positions in each office annually.

Kelly Walls, executive director, The Guardian Foundation, said: “We know that the proportion of Black journalists in U.K. newsrooms is not reflective of society. When last researched it was just 0.2% compared with 3% of the U.K. population at the time. Sample sizes in more recent studies have been too small to break out specific race and ethnicity data, which tells its own story.

“Great journalism should include diverse perspectives, from a range of sources, to enable informed decision-making. To do this effectively, the barriers to entry must be broken and the industry must recognise that more inclusive and representative news organisations create better journalism and engage wider audiences.

“Our bursaries have contributed to the success of many brilliant journalists over the years and their reporting has made a genuine impact. Doubling the number of opportunities in the UK, focusing on Black students and universities outside of London, as well as launching similar schemes in the US and Australia is such a positive and exciting step forward. I look forward to seeing the new talent coming through.”

Applications for the Scott Trust Bursary are now open. More information can be found on The Guardian Foundation’s website.

About The Guardian Foundation:

The Guardian Foundation is known for its award-winning educational news programmes which cater for primary aged students (NewsWise) right up to secondary schools (Behind the Headlines) and beyond. In addition to the Scott Trust Bursary, the Foundation opens access to journalism through its Media Makers programme, which offers six months of work placements at digital media app, Cafeyn.


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