Television

BBC launches 2005 News Sponsorship Scheme

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MUMBAI: The BBC has launched its News Sponsorship Scheme for 2005 in the UK. The scheme, now in its fifth year awards 15 students on the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) accredited courses, full funding for their postgraduate diplomas in broadcast journalism, plus bursaries to help with living expenses during their course.

Each student is also allocated a senior BBC journalist as a mentor, and is offered up to five weeks paid work experience and training in an area of network news. One place on the scheme is dedicated to Christopher Price, the late BBC Three presenter. Price fronted the entertainment news programme Liquid News following a career in BBC local radio, Radio Five Live and News 24, before his death in 2002 at the age of 34. This sponsored student will receive at least one of their work placements with BBC Three News.

The News Sponsorship Scheme is aimed at attracting new and diverse talent into BBC News around the UK, while enabling students to fund their postgraduate course. BBC News director Helen Boaden, says, "BBC News should serve every community across the UK. To do that well, we need staff from a very wide range of backgrounds and experience." Scheme director Daniell Morrisey said, "The scheme has successfully kick-started the careers of many spiring journalists. Many of its former students have remained with the BBC joining one of our national or regional newsrooms."

Christine Liu is one of the successful applicants from 2004. She said: "The most important thing to note is that the BBC is not looking for one particular type of person. My first degree is in physics – other people have backgrounds as diverse as finance and anthropology. A few have worked before while others, like me, came straight from university. The one thing we all have in common is a passion for journalism."

Debbie Jackson is another of last year's successful applicants. She said: "The News Sponsorship Scheme changed my life. Having worked for a few years and previously worked in print journalism I really wanted to have a go at broadcast journalism and start a new career. Gaining the confidence and experience from the scheme made the big jump into leaving work and going back to college much easier."

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