The Creative Diversity Network held its 2015 Open Newsroom Days on 21 October and 20 November with 30 newsrooms opening their doors to over 500 young people interested in a career in broadcast journalism.
The Open Days were organised by the CDN News Group: BBC, ITN, ITV, CNN, Channel 4 and Channel 5. The attendees, from under represented backgrounds, were introduced to the full range of skills in news production; from selecting the stories, writing the scripts, presenting to camera, filming, video editing and on-site reporting.
Robin Elias, Managing Editor, ITV News at ITN said, “We engage with small groups of diverse jobseekers and aspiring journalists throughout the year but the Open Newsroom is particularly attractive as it allows us to reach a bigger group and creates a buzz not only for the young people but for our own staff as they get to help out and mentor. Our doors are literally open for the day and we find that people are surprised about how diverse our newsrooms are but also that many people have accessed the industry through non conventional routes.”
Charlene White, TV News Anchor for ITV News addressed the 90 young people gathered at ITN HQ in London on 21October “Our industry needs people like you. If you work hard, believe in yourself, ask lots of questions, you can – whatever your background – be a success. I came from a very non traditional background. My father was a postal worker and my mum a social worker but with perseverance and belief in myself, I made it. You all have the added bonus of being multi-skilled with technology. You are all gold dust because you can film and edit.”
Nick Hart, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Turner Broadcasting said: “Last year’s Open Newsroom Day was a great success and we were keen to be involved again this year. At CNN, we want our staff to look like our audience and that’s why we want to give access, and be able to access, those who are interested in a career at CNN/Turner. With 23% of our staff BAME, we are always keen to engage with ways of attracting new, young diverse talent.”
Successful careers have been started as a result of the Open Newsroom Days and Natalie Orchard, freelance journalist, is a beneficiary of the event. Natalie, who attended the Open Newsroom in 2014, said, “I decided to change my career as I was previously a teacher. I found the Open Newsroom Day and it gave me access to people that I previously wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet. Those introductions gave me information about the CNN newsroom intern scheme which I applied for and started in January 2015. I now work freelance at CNN and love my job and the different types of people I get to meet every day.”
Check out Shannon White’s blog at http://shannwright.blogspot.co.uk