“Incredible”, “a great opportunity”, and “really important” – this is what some of the recipients of the Student Publication Association’s diversity bursary said the support meant to them.
The SPA was proud that for its national conference #SPANC22, we were able to provide financial help to 14 delegates.
Support ranged from covering travel, accommodation, and conference tickets, to helping top-up what had been provided by students’ unions to allow their students to come.
The diversity bursary aims to ensure students from backgrounds under-represented in journalism – whether through race, sexuality, background, or anything else – who do not have the financial means to attend our conferences can come along.
Applications are assessed by our trustees and we aim to award as many as possible in the run up to each conference.
It could not be possible without the kind support of our sponsors, so thank you to The Printing Charity and The Journalists’ Charity this year for allowing delegates the chance to come to our first in-person conference in three years.
Read below to see what some of our delegates who received the bursary this year said about the scheme.
“I am so glad to have spent this weekend with fellow student journalists and connecting with like minded people. Over the course of the two days I attended a number of workshops, from landing my first journalism job to the art of being a good editor. With this came the opportunity to speak to professional journalists. those who were once in the position I was in and are now leading successful careers in their given pathways.
“I definitely think this is an opportunity that others should apply for and encourage all those who are thinking of it to just do it. It is not an event to miss and I am so grateful to the whole SPA team for an incredible couple of days.” – Joi Foote, Redbrick
“I have been a member of the Gaudie team for four years now, so I’ve been really looking forward to attending SPANC. If in the past years I couldn’t, it was often because our union leaves us to pay from our own pockets and I wasn’t able to do that.
“The bursary gave me the possibility to afford travel and the costs of the conference without breaking the bank. I am really grateful to have been able to do this, as I often feel that possibilities for underrepresented/working class backgrounds could do with a lot of improvement in the industry. SPA really set a good example on that.
“It’s also a great opportunity to change how the industry works. We need more diverse voices, shaping the debates during conferences, making their voices heard…and simply thriving, when sometimes it is difficult to do so. SPA has done a wonderful job in providing that prolific space.” – Rory Buccheri, The Gaudie
“Getting the help from SPA to be able to attend the conference, meet so many amazing and like-minded people has been life changing. I have learned so much over the course of the weekend, talked to industry professionals and student journalists, and only reassured myself that I chose the right career path.
“So thank you SPA and I would 100% encourage everyone who needs it to apply and not be discouraged.” – Janet Osayande, Kindred
“I think it’s important. For me specifically, I counted in every room I was in there were like, five, maybe other people of colour and I think that’s really a demographic that’s underrepresented in journalism.
“So I think that’s why the diversity bursary is really important.” – Shikhar Talwar, The Mancunion
“If it wasn’t for the diversity bursary, I wouldn’t have been able to be here to celebrate with the rest of the team. So it was really incredible to have that moment all together. That was incredible.
“Last year, obviously, it was all online and winning… I think we all got a bit teary, it was pretty amazing to be back together and then to actually win and celebrate together was incredible.” – Ella Robinson, The Mancunion
“I wouldn’t have been able to afford it, obviously, and also, I go to university in Cornwall and it’s very far away and train tickets are extraordinarily expensive.
“So yeah, without the diversity bursary, I wouldn’t have been able to kind of allow me to connect with other student journalists here that I wouldn’t have had access to. And there’s just so so many workshops and talks and everything and that gave me so much information on how to be a journalist.” – Fleur Feeney, The Falmouth Anchor
“The team has worked so hard that winning Best Publication was the dream and being here to celebrate with the whole team was just magical, it made the whole year of work so worth it.
“And it was just great to see everybody cheering and celebrating other publications as well. That was also just really nice and just shows that every journalist, every student publication just wants to support each other.” – Jess Warmsley, The Mancunion
To find out more about the diversity bursary, including if you want to sponsor the scheme next year, email firstname.lastname@example.org