Sun and Sportsbeat offer Olympic journalism opening

The Sun has teamed up with Wimbledon-based press agency Sportsbeat to offer a 40-week scholarship worth £7,500 to a resident of one of London’s six Olympic boroughs.

Starting in September, the placement is accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and will include one day a week on The Sun‘s sportsdesk. If the successful candidate passes all their exams, they will be offered a six-week paid internship with Sportsbeat followed by a three-month paid internship with SunSport.

Copies of The Sun newspaper are displayed at a kiosk in LondonThe SunSport Diversity in Journalism Scholarship aims to build on the Olympic legacy by providing a life-changing opportunity to a budding journalist who has been put off from trying to become a journalist because of concerns over college fees.

Any resident from Hackney, Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, Tower Hamlets, Newham or Waltham Forest can apply.

A judging panel made up of journalists from The Sun and Sportsbeat will be looking for candidates who can demonstrate they have the potential to make a great journalist as well as explaining how their background would bring diversity into the newsroom. Applicants must have a minimum of two A-levels or equivalent.

Dominic Mohan, Editor of The Sun, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this project which offers an excellent journalistic opportunity and builds on the London 2012 Olympic legacy.”

Former Arsenal and England soccer star Ian Wright, now a regular sports columnist for The Sun, said: “What a brilliant opportunity for someone to get into the media covering sport. It’s exciting that people who would not normally consider this a career option now have the chance to go for it.”

Sportsbeat editor David Parsons said: “Our aim is to teach and inspire the reporting stars of tomorrow and for four straight years our trainees have made our sister company, News Associates, the No1 ranked NCTJ journalism school in London.

“We are also excited at having a driven and ambitious young reporter supplementing our agency’s work throughout their nine months studying on our training scheme. There will certainly be plenty of opportunities to work at sporting venues across the country and assist our journalists reporting on the build-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.”

The course includes modules in news reporting and sports journalism, video journalism and shorthand, as well as sports PR, media law and public affairs. Four days a week will be spent at a training centre in south-west London and there will be an opportunity to contribute to Sportsbeat’s network of football and rugby union reporting.

Bob Satchwell, Executive Director of the Society of Editors, said: “Any scheme that opens the doors to a career in journalism to those who might normally be priced out of a college place is very good news.

“This is a great opportunity for somebody to embark on a career and I congratulate The Sun and Sportsbeat for the initiative that complements the important work of the Journalism Diversity Fund that is administered on behalf of the media by the NCTJ.”

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the National Council for the Training of Journalists, said: “This scholarship is a wonderful idea which will give someone an opportunity to break into the exciting world of sports journalism while experiencing at first-hand how the sports desk of a national newspaper works.

“I welcome the initiative by The Sun and Sportsbeat to help widen the diversity of journalism trainees.”

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