George Viner Memorial Fund
We practice what others preach
A healthy press will mirror the population it serves – yet the number of ethnic minorities employed in the media industry is only approximately 8 per cent.
In some parts of the industry the figure is much less than this. It is a shortfall that inevitably leaves the industry at a severe disadvantage.
Three decades promoting media diversity: Celebrating 30 years of NUJ work to improve ethnic diversity in newsrooms, Sonia Sodha, the Observer’s chief leader writer, (pictured) praised the union’s scholarship scheme. "Huge thanks to the union….but we mustn’t lose sight of how much there is still to do."
She joined speakers and scholars for an evening event on 22 May 2019 to toast the George Viner Memorial Fund (GVMF) reaching its fourth decade. This year’s scholars were also presented with certificates as they joined the scores of black and ethnic minority journalists helped by the fund at the outset of their careers.
Sharon Thiruchelvam, one of the award's recipients, told those attending: "Journalism can seem like a closed shop, but we need black and minority ethnic journalists not just reporting the news, but also shaping the news agenda." Without the aid of the Fund, she would not have been able to embark on her MA in financial journalism, she said, and promised to be an active supporter of GVMF as her career advanced. Full report
The George Viner Memorial Fund was set up by the National Union of Journalists to address this shortfall and to broaden the diversity of journalists working in the British and Irish media.
Since its inception in 1986 the fund has helped more than 150 Black and ethnic minority students obtain the training they need to get a job in journalism.
We are able to carry out this vital work thanks to the continuing support of NUJ members, our patrons and donations from those who believe a multicultural society should have a multicultural press.
"I will always be grateful to the NUJ's George Viner Memorial Fund because, thanks to its generosity, I was able to gain a professional qualification, which has helped me throughout my career"
Nigel Smith, Communication Directorate, Council of Europe
"I know that, without the fund's help, I would not be at this stage in my career and I will always be grateful for the support and help
Elaine Okyere, Harrow Observer, London
Donate to the George Viner Memorial Fund – anyone can donate money to the charity. Members should log in to the website before making a donation to avoid filling in forms.
The George Viner Memorial Fund is a charitable trust (number 328142) and relies on donations to continue its work - find out how you can help.