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George Viner scholars encouraged to promote unions

25 February 2011

George Viner award winners should spread the news that unions are a wonderful thing, says investigative journalist, Shiv Malik.

He was speaking at the award ceremony for winners of the 2011 George Viner Memorial Fund bursaries.

The co-author of the book, Jilted Generation: How Britain Has Bankrupted Its Youth, said:

"The current climate is tough for new journalists, especially with high unemployment and unpaid internships, but people still want to be journalists.
"The job of any journalist is to stand up and report the truth. The George Viner scholars should stay in the NUJ and spread the news that unions are wonderful. We are stronger together than we can ever be individually.”

Lionel Morrison, chair of the fund, said:

"There was a huge number of applications and the standard was extremely high. The scholars are very impressive and we are sure they have a great future in journalism ahead of them.”

Winners of this year's awards are:

Vanessa Baffoe, 25, studying for an MA in broadcast journalism at City University.

"My course is very expensive and the financial support has been amazing. This award also means I get a BBC mentor, plus a highly sought-after placement at the BBC when my course is completed, which I'm really looking forward to.
"I am extremely grateful to the trust and the NUJ for the confidence they have shown in me, and I will support the trust in any way I can in the years to come. I am very proud to be a George Viner scholar.”

Hamza Mohamed, 23, is reading for an MA in International Journalism at City University.

"Being from my background, journalism appeared to be a career for the well-off, so it looked as though my passion and hard work alone might not be enough for me to embark on my childhood dream of becoming a journalist.
"This is where the George Viner Memorial Fund came in and changed it all for me. I spent seven weeks of work experience with a Kenyan TV station part of it in the world's largest refugee camp. This was a life-changing experience and if it wasn't for the George Viner Memorial Fund it wouldn't have been possible.”

Sheun Adelasoye, 24, is studying for an MA in broadcast journalism at City University.

"The trust has arranged for me to have a six-week paid placement at a BBC radio station in the regions once I finish my MA. I'm grateful to the trust because having the extra experience on my CV will be invaluable.”

Lucy Copp, 21, is studying for the fast-track NCTJ diploma in multi-media journalism at News Associates in London.

"I knew that I wanted a career in journalism and, thanks to the fund, I have been given the financial support I need to leave home in Oxford and study in London as well as the guidance and encouragement of industry professionals.
"I will be forever grateful to the fund for helping me to get a foot firmly on the career ladder and I look forward to making an active difference to the way ethnic minorities are represented in the media industry.”

Ruje Yasmin is studying for an MA in TV journalism at City University. 

"My course is brilliant and I've learnt so much. I know how to make a news package, how to edit and how to find a good news story. I'm now working on making my own documentary. I did a placement at ITV News last term and learnt new skills – this would not have been possible without the fund.
"I contemplated not doing the course this year because of how expensive it was, but I went for an interview and I got the bursary. It's been a huge relief and I'm now able to enjoy my course without being really stressed about money. Thank you, George Viner Memorial Fund!”
  • The George Viner Memorial Fund was set up to honour the career and dedication of George Viner. From 1961 until his retirement in 1976, George was the NUJ's Education and Training Officer and was a great educationalist.

One of his many achievements was the establishment of the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). The trust was established in 1986 by the Race Relations Working Party of the NUJ to help black journalism students financially and professionally with their studies and careers. Since then, the trust has assisted more than 100 students and has awarded more than £65,000 to help aspiring black journalists achieve their career goals.

Financial help from the fund has given more than 150 students to date the opportunity to study for a recognised journalism qualification. The fund helps with tuition fees, the cost of travel and accommodation and course books as well as with mentoring and career guidance.

Read more about the George Viner Memorial Fund.

Tags: , george viner memorial fund, students, black members, shiv malik