Journalists from across the industry joined students and staff this week to celebrate the launch of LJMU’s partnership with the John Schofield Trust, which works to champion diversity and social mobility in newsrooms.
Ten final year undergraduate Journalism and Sports Journalism students have been paired with leading professional journalists thanks to this link-up. They will receive one-to-one mentoring over the next year as well as access to masterclasses and networking events.
The students were selected as John Schofield Fellows by a panel of industry experts including Maria Breslin; editor of the Liverpool Echo, Nick Pollard; a former head of Sky News; and Layla Wright, an award-winning documentary maker.
Layla, who chaired a careers panel discussion at the launch event in Redmonds Building, described the mentoring scheme as “a brilliant thing”, adding: “I am a journalist from Liverpool and… I am only working with my heroes now because of the kindness of other people.”
Also on the panel were Joe Rimmer, head of football at the Liverpool Echo, who will mentor Sports Journalism student Darragh Haughian, and Radio Merseyside presenter Linda McDermott, who has been paired with Level 6 Journalism student Sadie Gilbert.
Linda said the launch, at which she met Sadie for the first time: “It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet tomorrow’s journalists. Although it is a different world of journalism now, the opportunities will be there for them to make a difference to whatever branch of journalism they choose.”
Sadie said: “I am so happy I have got Linda as my mentor. She is iconic!”
What an honour it was to hear such inspiring stories from role model journalists.. even more excited for the year ahead on the programme! https://t.co/yOYViiOWRm
— anna rainey (@annarainey20) September 28, 2023
Other mentors who will work with LJMU Journalism students include Granada Reports anchor Gamal Fahnbulleh; Anfield Wrap CEO Neil Atkinson; The Athletic’s LFC correspondent James Pearce and BBC Manchester Breakfast presenter Anna Jameson.
Fran Yeoman, Head of Journalism, said: “As a department we work hard to promote diversity and inclusivity in the industry. This new partnership with the John Schofield Trust fits perfectly with that by offering some of our talented students that all-important first contact, and a link to a friendly insider.
“I know that our student Fellows will learn a lot from their journalist mentors and think that the mentors might learn something from them too.”
Howard Littler of the JST said: “We are delighted to celebrate our partnership with LJMU, enabling ten talented journalism students to become Fellows of the John Schofield Trust and be matched with experienced mentors for 12 months of networking, opportunities and upskilling.
“This will put rocket boosters under their career prospects and having met the students at the launch event I’m already blown away by the tenacity and confidence.”
Really excited to be part of this, such a brilliant and important scheme. https://t.co/avEgxBTACm
— Polly Sharpe (@polly_sharpe) September 28, 2023
Proud evening at the launch of @JSchofieldTrust x @JMUJournalism collab. A charity I care massively about choosing Liverpool as first place to roll out their mentoring for uni students 🙏 Proper pleasure to share a panel with @JoeRimmer88 & @LindaMcDermott_ https://t.co/oeLBbTPvqw
— Layla Wright (@laylawright_) September 28, 2023