Journalist scoops diversity bursary to complete studies

"I want to bring diversity to the newsroom so minority communities can be heard and understood."

Konzani Ncube, MA Journalism

A Staffordshire University MA Journalism applicant has become the first at the university to gain a Journalism Diversity Fund bursary to help him complete his studies this year.

Konzani Thabani Ncube is a Black African student who aspires to deliver news as it happens and bring more diversity to newsrooms in the UK and further afield.

The 45-year-old father of two decided to pursue his ambition after many years struggling to make ends meet working in a factory in Stoke-on-Trent.

Now, after support from MA Journalism course leader Pete Leydon, he has been successful in securing a bursary worth several thousand pounds awarded by accrediting body, National Council for the Training of Journalists.

Bursaries, which are funded by national and regional news organizations, are awarded to people from diverse backgrounds who need help funding their NCTJ journalism training.

Supported by those in the industry who want to make newsrooms better reflect the communities they serve, applications are open to individuals with the potential to succeed in one of the most exciting and rewarding careers around.

Konzani left Staffordshire University with a joint honours degree in 2008 shortly after arriving in the UK from his home country Zimbabwe.

While working in a factory, Konzani set up a Facebook group focusing on news from Zimbabwe which he relayed to families from that country now living in the UK.

He attracted 5,000 followers and fueled his ambition to become a full-time journalist.

He said: “The Journalism Diversity Fund bursary will fulfill my dreams of completing a MA Journalism degree which will go a long way in opening avenues of being a fully employed Journalist.

“I want to bring diversity to the newsroom so minority communities can be heard and understood. I want to engage with the communities and establish a rapport and trust, bring different sets of lenses to newsrooms which will add variety.

“I will be able to tell stories about Black and Asian minorities, and am a huge fan of empathetic journalism which seeks to understand communities.”

Course Leader Pete Leydon added: “Konzani had to travel to London and be interviewed for this bursary. It is a tough selection process and attracts applicants from all over the UK.

“I am delighted for him and it demonstrates our commitment to support students from all backgrounds and help provide opportunities to study and fulfil ambitions that they otherwise may not receive.”

Konzani will begin his MA Journalism course in September, studying essential industry-ready modules in law for journalists, news writing, digital and broadcast skills, shorthand, production skills, political journalism and more.

More information about the NCTJ diversity fund is available here