Journalists from various industry sectors came together this week to mark the launch of LJMU's exciting partnership with the John Schofield Trust (JST), an organisation dedicated to promoting diversity and social mobility within newsrooms.
The collaboration has brought together ten final-year undergraduate students specialising in Journalism and Sports Journalism with prominent professional journalists. Each student selected will benefit from personalised mentoring over the next year and gain access to enriching masterclasses and valuable networking opportunities.
The John Schofield Fellows were chosen by a distinguished panel of industry experts, including Maria Breslin, the editor of the Liverpool Echo; Nick Pollard, a former head of Sky News; and Layla Wright, an accomplished award-winning documentary maker.
During the launch event held at the Redmonds Building, Layla, who chaired a captivating careers panel discussion, praised the mentoring initiative as "a brilliant thing." She shared her personal journey as a journalist from Liverpool and spoke of how she now collaborates with her idols, all thanks to the generosity of others.
Joining Layla on the panel was Joe Rimmer, the head of football at the Liverpool Echo, who will be mentoring Sports Journalism student Darragh Haughian. Also present was Linda McDermott, a prominent Radio Merseyside presenter, who has been paired with Level 6 Journalism student Sadie Gilbert.
Linda expressed how great meeting Sadie for the first time during the launch event was. She saw it as a fantastic chance to get to know the journalists of the future. She also mentioned that while journalism has changed a lot, there are still plenty of opportunities for them to make a difference, no matter which area of journalism they're interested in.
In response, Sadie said: "I am so happy I have got Linda as my mentor. She is iconic!"
Additionally, other mentors will be working with LJMU Journalism students, including 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 John Schofield Trust 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, the tenacity and confidence already blow me away."