Background image: Unsplash, Image: Arya Jyoti
Hello! has recruited a City Journalism BA student for their first diversity internship. This remote internship pays £75 per day and aims to equip students from minority backgrounds with experience and confidence when applying for jobs.
Sophie Vokes-Dudgeon, head of digital at Hello!, said she hoped a paid internship would ensure an inclusive application process. “We feel it’s important to make sure finances are not a barrier to being able to take a month off work for the publication,” she said. “This would likely impact the diversity of applicants we are able to attract.”
This year, along with working to increase diversity in senior roles, Ms Vokes-Dudgeon said they want to have influence at the grass-root level, creating strong professionals out of early-career journalists. She explained: ”This isn’t a stuffing envelopes or cleaning out the fashion cupboard type of internship. We want them to end up with bylines and experience that can be put on a CV so it’s going to require hard work.”
She said this experience will encompass all key editorial departments of the business. She said: “Whether it’s working knowledge of Google Analytics, an understanding of how to make money from branded content projects, or some hands-on experience of using SEO to optimise meta titles. We want to impact their CV.”
“Because of the low numbers of BAME students, in a normal setting, we would be so easily cast aside”
Arya Jyothi, BA City journalism student, who started the internship at Hello! in April, said she was thrilled at the opportunity despite initially feeling unsure about it. “I have often thought that BAME hiring puts me in front of my white classmate unfairly,” she said. “So in the beginning I did feel a bit guilty. But then I realise that because of the low numbers of BAME students, in a normal setting, we would be so easily cast aside.”
She continued: “On the first day, I got an email telling me to write an article. I was shocked but excited. I am learning a lot because I had to immediately crack on with doing things. They are so supportive, they said I could come back to ask for advice or help.”
“Journalism isn’t diverse. I wish it weren’t true, but it’s a fact and people are lying if they say otherwise”
She added: “I pushed intrusive thoughts away and I am glad I did. This is a great opportunity and I am making the best of it.”
Ben Falk, lecturer and head of the second year Journalism BA at City, said “Journalism isn’t diverse. I wish it weren’t true, but it’s a fact and people are lying if they say otherwise. I hope that’s beginning to change, but I think the industry needs a push.
“An internship should be within everyone’s reach,” he added.