The publisher has launched a training scheme to improve the diversity of its newsrooms as it continues to expand its news website offerings.
The training program, named Reach Boost, will pay for journalists to train for their NCTJ diploma while also being in full-time employment. The overall aim of the scheme is to improve representation within the newsrooms of journalists from minority backgrounds and underrepresented social classes.
To begin with, three journalism jobs will be ringfenced at the Essex Live, Kent Live and MyLondon websites for trainees. If the scheme is successful, Reach says it could then be rolled out to more regions across the country.
About the Reach Boost, Luke Jacobs, new audiences editor for London and the South East, said: “Here at Reach in the South East, we’ve had a strategy in place to rapidly improve diversity and inclusion in our content, improving our recruitment practices and becoming an inclusive and secure environment for staff from all backgrounds.
“The Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests has shown the desperate need to widen perspectives in our newsrooms and in our coverage.”
David Bartlett, Reach’s audience and content director for London and South East, said: “Anyone in a leadership position knows that it is not enough to acknowledge a problem, it must be followed with action.”
“We pride ourselves at being a great region for developing talent, but I also believe we have so much to learn from future generations of new journalists. There is no time like the present to welcome into Reach a more representative group of aspiring journalists who will in time shape our company and our journalism.”