Google News Initiative to provide 15 scholarships for Sub-Saharan Africa Programme, alongside 15 scholarships for the UK Programme
The University of Central Lancashire’s flagship Journalism Innovation and Leadership (JIL) Programme is expanding its offering into Sub-Saharan Africa following a successful two-year run in the UK.
The JIL Programme, which is supported by the Google News Initiative (GNI) on both continents, offers a 30-week part-time, postgraduate certificate and a two-year masters of arts course that have been co-designed by a team of practise-led academics and innovative industry leaders to foster the next generation of diverse news media leaders.
Since its UK launch in 2020, media professionals from 10 countries have participated in the distance-learning JIL Programme and have been invited to attend intensive learning blocks in Preston. Now, for the first time, the programme will launch in Sub-Saharan Africa next January alongside the UK-based programme.
The programmes will run concurrently and be taught entirely online to make the course more accessible, with the option of attending two intensive learning blocks in person or online – one will be in Preston and the other in Cape Town.
“The more news organisations have diverse leaders who understand the world, the better the industry can innovate to answer its challenges. “Dr François Nel, Reader in Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCLan and director of the programme
Thanks to ongoing support from the GNI, in 2023, 30 scholarships are available, of which 15 places are reserved explicitly for participants from Sub-Saharan Africa. These participants are also eligible for travel grants to enable them to join the intensive learning block in Cape Town in the northern-hemisphere Autumn, which is open to all students.
The GNI also helps to facilitate the industry mentoring programme by offering key network connections and providing access to a pioneering approach and practice across the news industry.
“The continued support from the Google News Initiative will allow even greater participation in our programme from those working in the world’s youngest continent, with 70% of sub-Saharan Africa under the age of 30. Though their personal contexts and professional challenges might at first appear very different from those working in Europe, there is much that participants in our programme have in common. Prime amongst those is their shared passion for the role trustworthy, public-interest journalism can play in the health and wealth of communities – and the desire to step up to be the leaders and innovators our industry needs to push through this difficult time and to thrive.
“Though their personal contexts and professional challenges might at first appear very different from those working in Europe, there is much that participants in our programme have in common.“Dr François Nel, Reader in Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCLan and director of the programme
“Over the last two years of this postgraduate programme, we have had participants from across four continents and twelve time zones and they have all emphasised to us how much they have learned from each other, alongside their engagement with their tutors and industry mentors. We can’t wait to get started.”
“We are delighted to support these scholarships, which provide media executives across Africa an opportunity to think deeply about the issues shaping journalism today and how their organisations can play a role in shaping its future, fighting misinformation and bringing innovation to their newsrooms.”Google News Lab Training Manager Vincent Ryan
Applications for scholarships for both 2023 JIL programmes are open and will be considered until 15 November.