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MA News Journalism student becomes first Facebook-funded NCTJ Community Reporter at Nottingham Post

The scheme is the first time Facebook have directly funded journalists to ensure the creation of more relevant and diverse local news

Gurjeet Nanrah
Gurjeet Nanrah

MA News Journalism student Gurjeet Nanrah has secured a role as a Community Reporter for the Nottingham Post, in a new project by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and Facebook. This will see Gurjeet receive training towards a National Qualification in Journalism for community journalists, provided by the NCTJ, as well as his reporting work.

The scheme has seen Facebook provide the NCTJ with a charitable donation of £4.5million in order to support quality journalism and improve the diversity of the industry. The NCTJ are working together with local publishers to recruit, train and qualify around 80 additional community journalists.  The aim of the project is to encourage more reporting from areas of the UK which are under resourced, and improve the diversity of newsrooms, an issue highlighted in the NCTJ’s recent Journalists at Work 2018 report.

Gurjeet described how it felt to learn he’s secured this role. “I was overjoyed when I found out I had got the role. The Post is a great, established publisher that serves the county well and I'm keen to try report more on communities that feel left out since news has shifted to a digital emphasis. To be one of the first reporters recruited by Facebook feels like a massive achievement.”

After having completed a placement at the Nottingham Post as part of his MA in News Journalism, Gurjeet felt confident about his skills and experience going into the application. He commented: “I reflected on the skills I have picked up this year in my MA and realised I had a skill set that was very applicable for this job so I built on that. The newsroom at the Post is one I'm familiar with so I emphasised on why I thought I was the best person for the job. It's the first time Facebook has actively tried to recruit reporters so I was really keen to get in with this massive company.”

Through the project, both Facebook and the NCTJ aim to increase the creation and consumption of reliable, quality community news. We spoke to Gurjeet about his aims for the role: “I can't wait to get started! Primarily I want to engage to the thousands of students in the city more with the Post. I think there's a lot of good student stories and content that other people around the city would enjoy reading. I want to help publish this. Also, I want to engage smaller religious communities that might feel like they aren’t listened to.”

Published on 1 May 2019
  • Subject area: Media, journalism and communication
  • Category: Current students; School of Arts and Humanities