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George Viner scholars receive extra support from BBC

George Viner scholar addresses awards ceremony

George Viner scholar addresses awards ceremony  -  © Private

19 February 2009

Over 70 people gathered in London last night to honour this year's students who are being supported by the George Viner Memorial Fund.

The charity – named after a former NUJ training officer – provides scholarships for Black and Asian journalism students. The aim is to ensure that journalists reflect the communities they report on.

Speakers at the event included science journalist Angela Saini, Guardian columnist Joseph Harker and Sky presenter Marverine Cole. They shared their tips on how to work your way through the newsroom and anecdotes about their working lives.

The event was also attended by Sue Ladbrook from the BBC. During this academic year, the fund received extra support from the corporation – which funded four bursaries for broadcast journalism students. As well as the grant, scholars received a paid work experience placement and help from a BBC mentor.

A further two students were awarded placements and the opportunity to take part in the mentoring scheme. The fund also granted bursaries to four students taking courses in print journalism.

Lionel Morrison, who was the first Black President of the NUJ and is chair of the fund trustees, introduced the speakers and joined with the whole audience in applauding the achievements of George Viner scholars past and present. George Viner's daughter Carole – a fund trustee – also attended the event.

The ten scholars honoured last night were:

  • Faarea Masud,
  • Antonya Allen,
  • Hind Hassan,
  • Zahid Lalani,
  • Saadeya Shamsuddin,
  • Nabeela Zahir,
  • Oliver Laughland,
  • Scott Roberts,
  • Sade Laja and
  • Rowena Ibare Mbanu.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ Deputy General Secretary, said:

"The George Viner celebration is one of the great events of the NUJ year. It's great to meet up with the future stars of our profession – and the people who support the charity. This year I would particularly like to thank the BBC for their support.
"We are always keen to hear from anyone else with ideas to support the fund. The NUJ continues to be committed to diversity and opportunities for all in media jobs."

The union is organising a Black Members Conference on Saturday 7 March.

Tags: , george viner memorial fund, students, black members, bbc